The electronic logging devices will make it easier to track truck driver’s hours of service.
Late last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) passed a new rule mandating fleet owners who are currently required to record hours of service (HOS), install electronic logging devices (ELDs) in their commercial motor vehicles.
For the construction industry, vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds are subject to this new regulation and will be required to comply by the December 18, 2017 deadline.
In simpler terms, an ELD is an electronic solution enabling fleet owners to easily log and track their HOS. And while there are some exemptions to this mandate, like those currently using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs), it’s safe to assume that if you’re currently logging the record of duty status (RODS) for your vehicles and equipment, you’ll be required to continue doing so using an ELD solution come the end of next year.
There’s still more than a year for contractors and fleet owners to prepare for this change, but now’s the time to start looking at your options and understanding how this technology can benefit you.
Why is the FMSCA Mandating This Change?
The goal of the ELD mandate is to benefit those affected by HOS compliance each and every day. With the implementation of ELD technology, contractors, managers, drivers, and operators will save time, increase efficiency, and improve the accuracy of HOS logging—a benefit for both those in the field as well as back-office personnel who interact the data collected on a daily basis.
Synchronized between equipment and vehicle, ELDs will eliminate the need for paper logs, complicated software, and outdated AOBRDs by automatically recording date, time, location information, engine hours, and vehicle miles.
Drivers and operators will no longer need to worry about future inspections once ELD technology is in place, as accurate logging of HOS compliance becomes an effortless, automated task.
Not only is ELD technology meant to be a time-saver by making it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share RODS data, but it also presents an opportunity to create a safer work environment for drivers and operators, especially on the jobsite where safety always comes first.
With the insight provided by ELD telematics data, managers can easily and accurately track HOS, ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting drivers against fatigue.
Using ELD and Telematics to Your Advantage
Despite some initial frustrations and concerns from those affected by the new mandate, implementing ELD technology can provide benefits extending well beyond just tracking hours of service.
Telematics solutions that fulfill the ELD requirement provide contractors and mixed fleets with many advantages, such as the ability to see and track the health and status of each piece of equipment, gauge asset usage, and provide answers to where utilization can be improved.
Since ELDs will be a necessity, it’s important for contractors to get more ROI on their purchase by choosing a telematics system built specifically for their needs.
Mixed fleet and construction-specific telematics solutions give insight into each and every piece of equipment, instead of just aggregated data (such as usage data required for ELD compliance). Contractors, operators, and managers can track issues, gauge maintenance, and manage their equipment with a proactive (versus reactive) mindset with an ELD built specifically for the construction industry.
With the insights and data provided by these types of systems, contractors can also help cut unnecessary costs and spending by allowing contractors and operators to take a preventative approach to the way they manage their equipment.
By keeping up-to-date on the status of their machines, fleet managers can steer clear of technical and mechanical issues, leading to better management and increased utilization of their assets.
While ELD adoption is inevitable, there are many advantages and benefits for those who embrace these new technologies. From simplified HOS logging to more effective asset management, the telematics solutions provided by ELD can have a long-lasting, positive effect on your fleet.
Contractors and owners who welcome the upcoming ELD mandate with open arms can begin to make more informed decisions when it comes to their machinery, and ultimately, elevate their return on investment to better the success of their business and fleet.
Willy Schlacks is President and Co-founder of EquipmentShare, a construction technology company dedicated to helping contractors and heavy equipment owners increase the utilization of their assets. Driven by ES Track, the company’s proprietary telematics solution, EquipmentShare, enables contractors to see critical equipment data such as asset health and utilization.