Why Do Truck Drivers Need ELDs?
Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are mandatory pieces of electronic hardware for commercial motor vehicles. This article outlines what they do and why they are essential for safety and compliance.
An ELD is a mandated requirement for commercial drivers in most states. An ELD is a reliable way for you to ensure smooth and safe driving without risking any violations. With this device, you can create a safer environment on the road for yourself and others.
Having an ELD in every commercial vehicle became mandatory after April 1, 2018. The law was enforced to track every driver’s Hours of Service (HoS). It helps the Department of Transportation keep an eye on the violations and prevent them.
Using ELD converts tracking and managing your vehicle into a much easier process for your fleet manager. The government can also access these records and take appropriate measures to ensure safety in commercial driving operations.
Moreover, an ELD completely removes the traditional pen and paper logging from the process, saving your time, money, and paper.
Installing an ELD can seem a bit complex at the beginning, due to the installation cost and installation process.
However, this device reaps tons of long-term benefits that you will not tap on otherwise, making the one-time investment worth it.
Maintaining Your CSA Score
The CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) score is a metric used by the Department of Transportation to observe the compliance of your truck.
Every truck with a DOT number will have a CSA Score chart. The FMCSA obtains data from your ELD and your fleet to give you a CSA Score after every evaluation.
There are a few categories that determine your CSA Score:
- HoS compliance
- Unsafe driving
- Crash indicators
- Hazardous materials compliance
- Driving while Inebriated
- Vehicle maintenance
- Driver fitness
The lower your CSA Score is, the better.
Having a high CSA Score has repercussions ranging from receiving a warning letter to off-duty and on-duty investigations. It can lead to heavy penalties and fines as well.
ELD ensures that you remain compliant with the rules and have a low CSA Score.
How Does it Benefit Truck Drivers?
Apart from the mandate, why should you have an ELD? The device has more to offer to YOU than to anyone else. Here are some benefits that an ELD offers to all drivers.
Safer Driving and GPS
ELDs also track data recording unsafe driving habits like harsh acceleration and braking, which helps monitor driver behavior.
Many ELDs also come with GPS tracking features. You know where your vehicle is at all times. Additionally, these trackers also maintain location history records and geofencing features, so you know the safe zones and prohibited areas.
As all the data collection is automated and online, you don’t have to go through heaps of paperwork anymore! Automated data collection is accurate as the data is taken directly from the device’s logs.
You save a lot of money, effort, and time as the manual administration of information is no longer required.
Vehicle Diagnostic Services
Your ELD connects to the vehicle’s diagnostic port. Hence, it can monitor the fault codes of in real-time. Thanks to this feature, any problems or defects in your truck can be instantly detected. It also enables you to take precautionary measures to increase vehicular efficiency.
It also simplifies the IFTA process and reduces paperwork. All calculations are done through automated technology as well.
An Increase in Efficiency
An ELD takes up all the paperwork and saves your time and efforts. The data is collected in real-time, which manages fuel usage, vehicle maintenance, and vehicle productivity, leading to better customer service.
Along with the unsafe driving features and alerts and GPS tracking solutions, an ELD makes your job easier and efficient. Your driving becomes more efficient.
What to Look for in an ELD?
Depending upon your needs and preferences, there are many types of ELDs you can opt for. Some have GPS tracking, while some send live alerts.
However, there are a few requirements that you must keep an eye out for to ensure you choose the best ELD for your fleet and use it to its best.
- The data recorded must be presented in a standardized format that is easy to read and understand.
- The device should use wireless services like USB or Bluetooth to transfer data to law enforcement agencies.
- The device should connect to the vehicle’s engine automatically when it is attached to the truck.
- The location of the vehicle must be recorded automatically and in real-time.
- There must be a login feature for drivers to select and inform when they’re off duty, on duty, or resting.
- The device should also have a mute button so that the drivers are not disturbed while they are resting.
What Happens if You Do Not Have an ELD?
It is illegal for commercial drivers to operate without an ELD. If you are a commercial driver who works for more than eight days a month, an ELD is a must-have.
If you do not comply with this rule, you may, unfortunately, have to pay heavy fines and penalties. Non-compliant drivers can also lose their license if found driving without an ELD.
You can also be placed out of service and lose your source of income. Therefore, we urge you to install an ELD immediately if you do not have it yet.
At the end of the day, this device does not interfere with your day-to-day tasks but makes them smooth. Installing an ELD can be tedious, but the returns are countless.
An ELD is a must-have beyond the law – it makes your job easier and ensures safer driving, making the roads safer for everyone.
This article was written by David Edwards from Robotics and Automation News and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.