A guide to implementing the ELD Mandate requirements into your fleet’s daily operations

Recent changes in fleet management laws have made electronic logging devices necessary in most commercial vehicles in North America. Fleet managers and drivers alike are wondering what this means for them and their daily operations. Approximately 44% of fleets currently use some form of telematics to track their drivers’ performance, but the ELD Mandate is designed to provide across the board accountability for drivers and fleet managers.

At BrickHouse Security, we aim to be your partner in this transition to ELD compliance and we have gathered answers to some of the most commonly asked questions below.

 

What is an ELD and What is it Used For?

An ELD is an electronic logging device that syncs with a vehicle’s engine to automatically record driving time. This device is designed to make hours of service (HOS) and record of duty status (RODS) logging simpler, more accurate, and more efficient as it no longer needs to be performed manually. This electronic device is designed to replace a driver’s paper log book, making data easily accessible for users and able to be electronically transferred to home offices for easy review by fleet managers.

The ELD Mandate is also being put in place to eliminate abuse of the system when it comes to reported driving time. It will help ensure that drivers are following the law and will minimize fatigued and overworked drivers who are often the cause of traffic accidents.

 

What is the New ELD Mandate and Who Does it Affect?

The ELD Mandate, which was passed in early 2016 and which will officially go into effect on December 18, 2017, will affect nearly 3 million drivers in North America. It extends to American, Canadian, and Mexican interstate drivers. While the hours of service regulations will not be changing, the method of reporting them will change. The mandate requires that all drivers in the following categories have an ELD installed in their vehicle:

  • Interstate drivers currently required to keep RODS
  • Vehicles that weigh more than 10,001 pounds
  • Vehicles with placarded hazmat loads
  • Vehicles carrying more than 8 or 15 passengers, depending on the vehicle class

The ELD Mandate does not affect the following drivers:

  • CDL carrying CMV drivers who operate in a 100-air-mile radius and who will continue to use time cards
  • Non-CDL carrying freight drivers who operate within a 150-air-mile radius
  • Drive away or tow away operators
  • Vehicles manufactured before the year 2000

By December 18, 2017, compliance is required by law, meaning that ELDs must be installed and in use in every vehicle that fits the requirements.

 

What New Things Can Drivers and Managers Anticipate?

The ELD Mandate brings with it a number of changes, many of which are positive. Some of the most notable changes are as follows:

  • Driver Logbooks will be largely eliminated
  • Data Sharing will be easy and secure
  • Data Collection will be more detailed and complete than was possible before
  • Driver Alerts will allow drivers to be aware of their status and the status of their device
  • Driver Duty Status will be required for all drivers via the ELD

While time reporting will not be done the same way, the ELD Mandate will not change certain rules such as how long a driver can be on the road. In fact, the ELD Mandate has been put in place to increase road safety by ensuring that drivers are adhering to the drive time laws. Their data will be accessible to them, their managers, and those conducting reviews or audits, ensuring that each driver is reporting accurate numbers and following associated laws.

 

What is Considered to Be an Acceptable ELD Under the Mandate?

In order for an ELD to be compliant with the mandate, the device must have an integrally synchronized system that performs automatic recording of HOS and RODS. Its technical specifications must be approved by and registered with FMCSA. Most importantly, the device must be installed and operational by December 18, 2017.

 

What Are the Benefits of the ELD Mandate?

The ELD Mandate was passed in order to improve road safety, both for fleet drivers and other drivers who share the road with them. Within the fleet world, the benefits should include reduced HOS and RODS costs and minimized audit fees, prevention of manual logging errors, increase in vehicle inspection efficiency, decrease in roadside faxing fees, and improvements in communication between drivers and managers. ELDs can also reduce wasted miles, optimize fuel usage, and reduce audits.

  • Drivers and managers should expect a number of benefits to implementing the ELD mandate, including:
  • Easier compliance with other industry regulations
  • Quick management of IFTA requirements, as well as increased fleet HOS accountability
  • Minimization of driver audits
  • Better time management across the board
  • Maximizing drive time while minimizing paperwork and reducing inspection timesD
  • Access to applications that help increase productivity
  • Driver accountability and honest reporting

Additionally, the FMCSA estimates the deaths, injuries, and crashes that should be prevented or avoided by the use of ELDs as follows:

  • 1,844 crashes per year
  • 562 injuries per year
  • 26 deaths per year

One of the biggest transportation issues that the ELD Mandate intends to address is erroneous driver reporting. A properly functioning ELD will allow managers to monitor drive times of each member of the fleet, seeing exactly what their drivers are doing even before HOS is officially reported. The law currently supports limitations on drive times and with the introduction of required ELDs, drive time rules can be officially enforced. Ensuring that drivers are adhering to proper driving hours will help minimize fleet audits. And for everyone on the road, ELDs will help eliminate fatigue and produce safer, more alert drivers.

 

What Are the Deadlines for ELD Use?

IELDs must be installed, operational, and in use by December 18, 2017.

 

How Should You Prepare?

When it comes to preparing yourself and your fleet drivers for the ELD Mandate compliance, we have a few tips for acclimating your team to what needs to occur:

  • Recognize that the new process will be much easier to manage and cause far fewer errors
  • Understand that the ELD Mandate is designed to improve fleet management and driver safety, overall
  • Create a timeline for ELD compliance, ensuring that your team is able to get your devices installed and practice using them in time for the official implementation on December 18, 2017
  • Have open communication with your team, answering their questions and providing them with information about the process and purpose--a team that understands is much more likely to cooperate.
  • Provide complete, detailed, and interactive training to your drivers and managers to make sure that everyone knows how to use their tools properly

If you have questions about ELD compliant tools or ELD Mandate requirements, the team at BrickHouse Security is available to help. Please contact our team for more information.

 

Published September 6, 2017