The Effect of ELD Devices on the Trucking Industry

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In the trucking industry, ELD devices are revolutionizing the way companies operate. These devices ensure compliance with HOS regulations and improve roadway safety by preventing driver fatigue. The ELD mandate has also eliminated hours-of-service violations among small carriers and independent owner-operators. Large asset-based carriers were already using ELD devices and thus have not been significantly impacted by the mandate.

Enhanced Efficiency

Rather than sifting through stacks of paper logs that risk being incomplete or lost, fleet managers can quickly access electronic HOS records via an ELD device. It saves them, drivers and officials time. The accuracy of ELD data also helps trucking companies improve efficiency and reduce costs. For example, it’s easier for dispatchers to communicate accurate ETAs with customers and avoid the cost of rerouting shipments because of unscheduled stops. With ELDs, truck drivers can focus on their main job driving, which reduces instances of drowsy driving that cause accidents and other costly incidents. It makes the mandate to use these devices a worthy investment for new and experienced truckers. In addition, integrated GPS tracking features help elevate several trucking business operations, including fuel usage, insurance costs, route planning, and vehicle maintenance. They also make managing driver fatigue and compliance with Hours of Service regulations easier. Thanks to predictive analytics algorithms, these systems can alert dispatchers and drivers of potential violations and provide a range of recommendations to address them.

Predictive Analytics

Aside from ensuring compliance and safety, ELD for trucking provides firms with predictive analytics to improve overall efficiency. These devices are connected to the engine of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and automatically record driving data. These devices securely communicate the data they gather to the cloud, allowing trend and insight analysis. For instance, the HOS data recorded by these devices can help drivers plan their routes more effectively. It can also indicate when a driver might need to take a break, which reduces the risk of fatigue-related accidents.

Other data collected by these devices can also help drivers and fleet managers make better business decisions. For example, some advanced ELDs can track speeding incidents and proactively alert drivers to possible violations. They can also create IFTA reports that eliminate the need to prepare them manually. It can significantly cut down on paperwork and administrative costs. These benefits can lead to substantial savings for the trucking industry.

Improved Safety

ELD devices help trucking companies stay compliant and improve roadway safety by preventing driver fatigue. They also make record-keeping more efficient for the company and inspectors by eliminating the need to check and verify paper logs manually. These devices automatically record driving time and rest periods, ensuring that drivers comply with HOS regulations and do not manipulate their logs. They can also detect engine diagnostics, which reduces downtime due to breakdowns. ELDs are a step forward from older Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRD), which needed more sophisticated and required manual intervention. While many AOBRDs are still in use, the ELD mandate has spurred transportation tech innovations that can automate HOS tracking and improve productivity. Introducing new technology to your fleet requires thorough training and ongoing support. It’s best to offer workshops and seminars on using the devices to ensure all your team members are familiar with their functions.

Blockchain Technology

Before ELD devices, drivers kept track of their service hours in a manually updated logbook. As most highway drivers are compensated based on miles driven, they commonly manipulated their record by changing just a few entries to ensure they logged more driving time. However, these manipulations are no longer possible with the introduction of electronic logging devices. ELDs are designed to monitor and record a driver’s HOS data accurately, ensuring compliance with the FMCSA regulations. Additionally, they enable trucking companies to monitor the status of their fleets and reduce the risk of violations that come with pricey fines.

As a result, most trucking professionals report satisfaction with the ELD mandate. Even though some predicted a mass exodus of truckers and related industries, the long-term benefits of the new technology have outweighed the short-term losses. With improved load visibility, better planning, and dispatching, shippers can benefit from shorter haul cycles, reduced congestion, and increased available capacity.

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