The Benefits of Electronic Logging Devices

In the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandated in late 2017 that most commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds be installed with electronic logging devices. This is to enforce hours-of-service rules for truckers in order to help prevent crashes and injuries. North of the border, a similar mandate (with a few key differences) from Transport Canada comes into effect in June 2021.

If you’re involved in trucking you likely know what an electronic logging device (ELD) is, but for those unfamiliar, an ELD is a certified device that automatically logs a driver’s hours of service electronically. The ELD is able to automatically detect when a driver begins and ends a trip including time spent taking breaks. Beyond governmental compliance, there are several great benefits to installing ELDs in your fleet. Let’s take a look at some below.

1: More Road Time for Drivers

According to estimates by the FMCSA, drivers spend over 20 hours a year simply filling out their paper logs. ELDs not only reduce paperwork time for drivers and filing time for their carriers, but also reduce time spent on checking up on driver hours.

Plus, ELDs can significantly cut down on the time a driver spends in an inspection, because their hours are clearly readable for an officer and drivers won’t have to spend time digging through their paper logs to find violations or correct errors.

2: Added Value-Functions

ELDs don’t just log driver hours — they can come with plenty of value-adds that can save you time and headaches.

  • Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports completed through an in-cab tablet before each trip to reduce time and increase accuracy
  • Driver behavior tracking to encourage good driving habits and increase the safety of both truck drivers and regular passenger vehicle drivers on the road
  • Fleet management capabilities such as automatic fuel tax reporting
  • Fuel efficiency monitoring to identify trends and save organizations money on one of the biggest expenses a fleet incurs

Not all add-ons will be useful for every fleet, so make sure you do your research and pick the ELD system that works best for your business.

3: Better Route Management and Live Location Tracking

ELDs allow fleet managers to track their trucks via GPS, giving them real-time locations of their drivers. That means fewer distracting calls to drivers asking for updates, increasing productivity of both the manager and driver. Plus, GPS tracking can help both managers and drivers refine and optimize their routes to make them as fuel efficient as possible.

4: Liability Reduction

Accidents happen on the road, which means even the safest driver could find themselves in a wreck. For companies with many drivers logging many hours on the road, lawsuits are an inevitability.

ELDs can help strengthen a truck driver’s case in instances where they aren’t at fault. The data recorded by the ELD can be used as evidence in court, and could be the difference between winning a lawsuit or paying out a hefty penalty through no fault of their own.

5: Road Safety and Insurance Costs

According to the FMCSA, ELDs save over 25 lives and prevent hundreds of injuries every single year. Plus, with vehicle and hour monitoring, ELD helps prevent even more accidents caused by driver fatigue or mechanical failure.

An added benefit to carriers is that with increased safety comes decreased insurance premiums. Fleets with ELDs installed should see their insurance costs drop as ELDs have been proven to increase fleet safety. Plus, with GPS tracking, the risk of stolen vehicles drops dramatically.

Schooley Mitchell are experts in electronic logging devices and fleet tracking, and we can examine your entire system to recommend the configuration that’s right for your business. If you’re outfitting your fleet with ELDs, contact us today to make sure you’re getting the right service for your business at the best price available — completely risk-free.