On December 18, 2017, the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate became effectctive. Enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), transportation companies nationwide as of December 2019, are now required to install an an ELD into every active vehicle in their fleet. But what exactly is an ELD, and what role does it play in road safety?
WHAT IS AN ELD?
An electronic logging device (ELD) may come in many forms, but all share similar functionality. Its main purpose is to collect data from the engine of the vehicle to record mileage, location, hours of operation, and when the vehicle is in motion. It will also notify drivers when they are operating outside of assigned time or miles. Additionally, an ELD must be able to communicate that information electronically or upon request by an authorized official. Smartphones and tablets are commonly used as part of the ELD solution to display information and provide several other useful tools to the driver, all satisfying the criteria described by the mandate.
HOW DO THESE DEVICES BENEFIT DRIVERS?
By installing mobile device management (MDM) software, companies can limit how the devices are used while still providing valuable resources to their employees. A tablet could be used to provide real time traffic data, local maps, or weather information to help shorten trips and keep drivers safe. The driver will also always have access to a calculator, calendar, and other basic tools found on smart devices for any business-related functions. Allowing access to specific websites and applications can provide all kinds of customizable support for a fleet and help reduce travel time by providing remote training.
WHY IS HAVING AN ELD SO IMPORTANT?
The information collected by the devices helps companies ensure their employees are driving safely and responsibly with access to that information in the palm of your hand. On top of that, the automatic collection of data prevents the driver from having to record trips manually and missing information of miles. This cuts down on paper costs and adds time that can be spent on the road. Inspections are also much more efficient and accurate, and information can be transferred in real time from one device to another.
Higher inventory accuracy and less time at stops means things can keep running smoothly, while the added security is helping save lives on the road.
It is important to stay up to date, so we recommend some further reading if you or your company is affected by this mandate. Check out these helpful links if you want to know more:
FMCSA ELD FAQ:
What happens if a driver is stopped for inspection and is not in compliance?
Learn more about ELD exemptions: