Navigating the Transition to ELDs

Navigating the Transition to ELDs: A Guide for Trucking Companies

Navigating the ELD world isn’t easy. It’s also not as simple as updating existing AOBRDs or asking your vendors to upgrade to the new system.

Time is running out, and you should make plans to ensure compliance with the mandate. Plus, there are additional benefits to rolling out an ELD—from increased vehicle inspections to real-time GPS tracking and reduced paperwork.

Determine Your Needs

The first step in the ELD transition is determining your fleet’s needs. For example, if your fleet has a mix of different truck models, look for a device that can work in any commercial vehicle to reduce the number of devices needed for your entire fleet.

In addition, consider how your provider handles updates and maintenance for the ELD in trucking. Choosing a company that can update the system over the phone will help minimize downtime and ensure drivers can access customer support when needed.

Understanding how your fleet’s ELD will transfer data to officers during a roadside inspection is also essential. This includes knowing how edits to logs are made and what safeguards exist to prevent driver or fleet managers from falsifying ELD records to manipulate their hours of service.

Set a Budget

ELDs help fleet managers save time and money by automating tasks, eliminating recording errors, and reducing compliance delays. They also allow dispatchers to view driver locations and ETAs, making it easier for them to get drivers to their delivery destination on time.

Another advantage of LEDs is that they can provide valuable data that helps trucking companies improve their CSA scores and reduce insurance premiums. With this information, fleets can proactively coach high-risk drivers to prevent accidents and driving violations that lead to costly penalties and CSA score increases.

There are some concerns that ELDs will be expensive for small fleets or independent owner-operators, but many affordable options are available. By setting a budget and choosing a compliant option with a good customer support team, fleets can make the transition to ELDs easy for everyone involved.

Decide on a Provider

When choosing an ELD provider, make sure to select a company that makes the driver’s best interest a priority. This includes ensuring that the device is easy to use and that several support options are available for drivers.

In addition, you should also ask whether a third party verifies the device. While FMCSA requires providers to self-certify their devices, not all companies do this, which could put your fleet at risk.

Another critical factor is determining whether the device requires proprietary accessory devices or can be “bring your own.” Many ELDs require drivers to purchase additional hardware, which can add up quickly.

Create a Transition Plan

ELDs are now required for all fleets that prepare Hours of Service records. Fleets using automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) must convert to compliant electronic logging devices (ELDs).

The most effective way to make the transition smoother is to build a plan early. Even before selecting a provider and the specific model of ELD, your team should start educating everyone about the general benefits it will bring to the company.

During this stage, it’s also a great time to identify top tech-savvy and enthusiastic drivers about the change. These people will champion your new system and help other drivers adjust. They will also be able to give you valuable feedback during the process.

Train Your Drivers

The process of implementing ELDs can seem overwhelming to both truck drivers and office staff. There are many things to consider, from physically installing vehicle devices (and uninstalling AOBRDs) to creating training materials and establishing new policies.

The best way to prepare fleets for the transition is to train their drivers before it happens. Top drivers or those comfortable with technology are excellent choices as first users of the ELDs. They will become champions for the new technology and can help other drivers embrace it.

Additionally, it is essential to ensure that drivers understand how to handle device malfunctions. This could include access to the previous seven days of logs in case of a device malfunction or reconstructing paper logs for those days.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Read More