Electronic logging devices (ELD) have become not just critical, but a mandatory feature in trucking nowadays. The use of ELDs is a legal requirement and full compliance as directed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and is expected to be in effect by December 2019 among all of the concerned parties.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Explained
An ELD is a device that automatically keeps records of drivers’ driving time and enables accurate recording of the driver’s hours of service (HoS) and fulfils the requirements of the relevant law. It must be self-certified as well as registered with the FMCSA. This device must hook up to the engine or be synchronized with the truck’s engine. This implies that the ELD will track the performance and functionality of the engine and at the same time automatically collect data related to the engine. ELDs capture things related to HoS, including time, date, location details, engine hours and status, vehicle’s mileage, and the identification details of the particular commercial motor vehicle (CMV), driver, and the carrier.
Why were ELDs mandated?
It can be very tiring for drivers to drive CMVs for long hours. According to several studies, fatigue is a major cause of road accidents, and this caught the attention of the public, news outlets, and the regulators of the transport industry. Due to that realization, the ELD mandate was put in place, compelling drivers to log driving hours with the utmost accuracy and avoid giving false data about their hours of service and record of duty status (RODS).
The ELD mandate made compulsory the substitution of paper logs, which tend to be more inaccurate, with ELDs that automatically record the drivers, thus providing accurate reporting. Truck operators can buy ELDs from various vendors, but it is advisable to buy from reliable vendors such as Eyeride, who are easily reachable at Eyeride website.
How ELDs work
ELDs automatically capture the driving time, miles covered, engine data, and vehicle movement. It is synchronized with the engine through hard-wired linkage by telematics systems. The device has a user-friendly touch screen that allows the driver to view the recorded information, edit their logs or add notes to them, and show their records of duty status without hassle to roadside inspectors.
The devices avail information to drivers in the form of simple graphics so that they can know their daily hours of service whenever they want just with a quick look. The data is shown in a standard format, as per the ELD mandate. It is also transferrable to law enforcement officials through local options, those being USB or Bluetooth, or via telematics options like email and wireless web services.
Benefits of ELDs
Other than for compliance purposes, ELDs have the following benefits:
The ELD system significantly reduces the costs related to manual paperwork. The hours spent doing paper log entries and the administrative work like analyzing and filing them are saved.
Besides improving drivers’ safety, which is the primary objective of the ELD mandate, the devices help to enhance efficiency and productivity. This is through promoting better communication between drivers and the office and enabling tracking of delivery status as well as departure and arrival. The device also ensures accuracy of data on things like vehicle uptime and reporting of engine issues for timely maintenance, thus avoiding downtimes.
Electronic logging devices are a crucial development in modern trucking, and besides ensuring compliance with the law, they improve efficiency, promotes drivers’ safety, and reduce costs. The data obtained from them is accurate and free from interference, thus allowing for proper decision making and planning.