As companies with small to medium-sized fleets prepare to meet the mid-December mandate for the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), it is worth taking a close look at the benefits that this transformation of fleet recordkeeping can bring.
Anytime you deal with a major new implementation of rules and regulations, it can seem more like a burden than an opportunity. But based on the experience of companies that have already fully deployed ELDs, the opportunities are rich when it comes to improved safety, reduced costs, and enhanced efficiency.
As reflected in this infographic, 100 percent of ELD-using companies saw their fuel expenses decrease by at least 10 percent, along with decreased idle time. Sixty-eight percent reported improvements in their drivers’ workday efficiency, and 62 percent saw overall business efficiency improvements as well as overall safer fleets. Finally, 40 percent of companies reported a 40 percent reduction in their drivers’ speeding1.
Fleets with 500 or fewer vehicles have tended to be the ones biding their time when it comes to ELDs. These smaller carriers are more leery of any downside to the ELD mandate, for a couple of reasons. One is that their drivers have always had more flexibility than those in the big fleets, and they haven’t wanted to alienate them. The other is that they fear that if they don’t roll out ELDs correctly, it would put them at an even greater disadvantage compared to their larger competitors.
There really is no reason to put it off. The benefits of deploying ELD will pay off quickly. It’s best not to wait until midnight on December 15, when the risk of serious fines for non-compliance become very real.
Here are six benefits deploying ELD’s will help you achieve.
Eliminate paperwork. A full transition to electronic recordkeeping eliminates paperwork and – importantly – human error.There is no longer a need to chase down logs or constantly double-check them to be sure they are accurate. With ELDs, all the information is logged automatically, and is not only accurate, but available instantly. ELDs enhance your ability to improve compliance with other industry regulations by simplifying reporting, more closely monitoring activity, and improving trip planning.
Save time. Drivers don’t have to spend unproductive hours filling out RODS, record of duty statuses. That means a huge reduction in the tens of millions of hours that drivers have traditionally spent annually on these recordkeeping tasks. That’s a good thing. Instead of doing paperwork, they can focus on what you hired them to do, spend their time piloting your vehicles on the road.
Lower maintenance costs. Amid ever-rising fleet maintenance costs, the sensors and diagnostic tools that are integrated into some ELD solutions help managers stay on top of their vehicles’ condition. When you can schedule and perform maintenance before bigger problems develop, you can keep your vehicles in service. That’s an especially important issue for smaller fleets, where even a few vehicles out of service can have a big impact.
Provide easy access to useful data. Fleet managers and others can get immediate, and actionable, data from ELDs. When information is coming in that gives you a real-time view of driver performance and vehicle status, you can take more informed and quicker action when it comes to issues such as speeding, rapid breaking, and other driving habits that need correction. The data also enhances a company’s ability to enhance customer service by keeping customers informed of estimated arrival times.
Save money. The instant feedback about vehicle idling and drivers’ habits makes it possible to work with the drivers right away to adjust those habits and save fuel. It also enables more efficient scheduling and planning to ensure the optimal use of available driver hours and other resources.
Reduce inspection time. Deploying an ELD provides comprehensive logging data that can speed up inspections, eliminating the need to juggle handwritten logs in order to verify hours and scour for errors or possible hours of service violations.
The compliance clock is running out. There is just three months to go before the ELD mandate deadline. By seeing the required changes as opportunities to do better – with safer operations, reduced costs, and greater efficiency – there are plenty of reasons to make the transition to ELDs as quickly as possible, embracing the change rather than dreading it. A comprehensive small fleet management solution can enhance those benefits by leveraging the technology advantages of the internet of things and a secure, dedicated network.
1Spireon customer survey 2017/2018