A good ELD system goes far beyond just ticking the legislation compliance box, it also identifies other areas in which fleets can become safer and more efficient.
It is no secret that a safer driver is a more efficient driver and rolling out an ELD system can often pay for itself by reducing fuel usage alone.
The FMCSA has outlined a basic list of functions that all ELDs must provide - primarily the automatic recording of duty status - and since the publication of the recent ELD mandate, fleet operators have been getting themselves prepared. Their main push, understandably, has been compliance; ensuring that their fleet avoids the costly penalties for violations of hours of service (HOS) regulations which, in some instances, can be up to $11,000.
When choosing a solution, however, it’s important not to overlook the additional benefits that a more comprehensive ELD solution will provide and the added value functions that are available today.
Here’s a list of top 5 added-value functions to watch out for:
1. Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR): The FMCSA mandates that drivers record the roadworthiness of their vehicles before each trip. This requires drivers to go through a check-list of inspection points, such as tires, windscreen, etc. An ELD allows drivers to perform this inspection checklist through the in-cab tablet, which ensures nothing gets missed and is then uploaded to the cloud.
2. State Mileage: Motor carriers that operate in more than one jurisdiction need to file a quarterly fuel tax report detailing fuel use in each state. Be sure to choose an ELD system that incorporates wider fleet management capabilities. This will capture the ITFA data and create the reports automatically, saving your drivers and back office plenty of time.
3. Driver Safety: An ELD that can report on driver behavior such as speeding, harsh maneuvers, idling, and utilization of the vehicle will allow for monitoring of driving trends which can encourage good driving habits - increasing the safety of your drivers.
4. Vehicle Diagnostics: An ELD solution can offer real-time and retrospective reporting on fuel, carbon, odometer, and fault codes. This allows organizations to be proactive in setting up maintenance plans and helps avoid costly downtimes due to unforeseen vehicle problems.
5. Fuel Efficiency: Fuel is often the biggest cost that a fleet incurs. By monitoring driver behavior and idle time, an ELD solution can identify trends that help organizations to encourage good driving habits in turn leading to better fuel efficiency in their fleets. In short, a safe driver is a fuel efficient driver.