The FMCSA’s final ELD rule requires most commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to install ELDs by December 18, 2017. Beyond this date, eligible CMVs without certified ELDs will not be compliant. As you can see, compliance is a big issue. In fact, it is the biggest motivation to install DOT-approved ELDs.
However, compliance isn’t the only reason to install electronic logging devices.
There are numerous ELD benefits for fleets. When used properly, these devices can streamline operations, reduce operational cost, maximize productivity, and increase profits. This is why so many fleets, even if they are exempt, have started using ELDs.
If you have been on the fence whether the cost of ELD will be justified or not, this is the perfect post for you. In this blog post, we highlight 11 amazing benefits of ELDs beyond compliance.
Let’s see what these ELD benefits are.
1. Minimizing Administrative Burden
As electronic logging devices or ELDs automatically track and record a vehicle’s movement, it takes out a lot of manual paperwork and administrative burden.
With ELDs, you don’t have to worry about manually recording Hours of Service, saving those records, and storing them. One of the biggest ELD benefits is that these electronic logging devices help save a lot of time, cost, and efforts, which fleet managers and drivers otherwise spend doing administrative work.
2. Reducing Fuel Wastage
Do you know that ELDs and a good fleet management dashboard allow you to monitor idle-time tracking?
You can track exactly how much time each driver spends idling. Using this information, you can easily identify drivers who idle for too long or too frequently. As a result, you can save thousands of dollars every month by tracking excessive idling and reducing fuel wastage.
3. Vehicle Diagnostics
As an ELD is automatically connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic port, it allows the device to actively monitor fault codes. As a result, you are always ahead of any vehicle maintenance issues with real-time alerts and detailed reports.
Not only do you get real-time alerts whenever a fault code is detected, but you can also identify recurring issues with historical fault code reports.
Precautionary measures can be taken at the right time, which leads to higher efficiency and productivity.
4. Location Tracking and Better Route Management
ELDs allow fleet managers to actively monitor vehicles through GPS tracking. It not only gives managers real-time visibility, but it also improves productivity and minimizes distractions.
Since fleet managers can easily track where each vehicle is, they don’t have to call drivers each time they want to get an update. Additionally, GPS tracking — along with breadcrumb trails and location history — can help fleet managers and drivers plan out the perfect and shortest routes.
Better route management not only streamlines operations and makes everyone more productive, but it also leads to fuel saving as well as higher profits for everyone.
5. Identification of Bad Driving Behaviors
One of the biggest ELD benefits is that you can track driving behaviors. It includes identifying bad driving behaviors, such as excessive acceleration, hard braking, and hard cornering. Once you know which drivers have bad driving habits, you can use the data gathered from ELD, talk to them, and help them improve.
Identifying high-risk drivers reduce the number of potential accidents and liabilities. Without electronic logging devices, there is no way to efficiently track and gather this information.
Fleets can also make a list of their best and worst performing drivers. The worst performing drivers can be made to go through proper training, while the best performing drivers can be rewarded and publicly acknowledged, which increases motivation and driver retention rates. As you can see, with the right data, the opportunities are endless.
6. Reducing Liabilities
Accidents happen because not everyone on the road is always cautious. And so, companies (guilty or not) have to deal with lawsuits every now and then.
In cases when the commercial truck driver isn’t at fault, ELDs can strengthen their case. The data recorded by ELDs can be presented as evidence. If there was no violation, no hard cornering, and no speeding, it proves that the driver may not be at fault.
In a case of such unfortunate incidents, having an ELD can be the difference between winning a lawsuit or staring at a penalty of thousands of dollars.
7. Automated IFTA Calculation
Perhaps the biggest ELD benefit is how it simplifies the IFTA calculation process.
As you know, fleets have to file in IFTA reports at the end of every quarter, and this can be an extremely burdensome process. With so much more paperwork involved, fleets don’t only have to assign a lot of resources for IFTA calculation, there is always a chance of human errors.
ELDs, on the other hand, can completely automate the IFTA calculation process, saving thousands of dollars by reducing administrative burden and operational cost. Furthermore, automated IFTA reports — with no errors or inconsistencies — also reduce audit risk.
8. Lower Insurance Premiums
Fleets with ELDs get significantly better insurance premiums. Because it has been proven that ELDs increase fleet safety, insurance companies offer much better rates than what they do to fleets without ELDs.
Additionally, since ELDs are also packed with GPS tracking features, the risk of a stolen or hijacked vehicle is far less. It is another reason why insurance companies feel at ease when it comes to offering lower insurance rates.
9. Increased Safety
Fleets with ELDs are significantly safer than those without ELDs.
According to an estimate by FMCSA, ELDs will help save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries every year.
Furthermore, with GPS tracking, efficient route management, fault-code monitoring, lack of driver fatigue, and timely identification of bad driving behaviors, ELDs can help prevent numerous accidents.
10. Improvement in CSA Scores
As you know, electronic logging devices make sure that drivers are not driving more than they are supposed to. Also, with e-logs, other HOS violations such as Form & Manner violations, outdated log violations, and falsification of logs are completely eradicated.
Additionally, since fleet managers can track bad driving behaviors with ELD data, they are capable of significantly reducing the total number of accidents.
All these factors lead to improved CSA scores, which result in more and better business opportunities.
11. Higher Profits
Last, but not the least, ELDs result in much higher profits.
The lack of administrative burden reduces operational cost. Decreased liabilities and better insurance rates have a direct positive impact on the balance sheet. Additionally, with proper drivers management, fleets are also able to improve the driver retention rate.
Furthermore, with better route management, idle-time tracking, vehicle fault-code monitoring, automated IFTA calculation, and reduced fuel wastage, fleets can significantly reduce the cost of operations, which eventually translates into higher profits.
Although most fleets think of ELDs only as a solution to FMCSA’s ELD mandate compliance, they are more than that.
ELDs, or electronic logging devices, can help fleets streamline their operations, increase productivity, maximize profits, and explore new business opportunities by getting more efficient as what they do. Additionally, with all the information that ELDs gather, trucking companies can grow at a much faster pace. After all, the right set of data helps you explore growth opportunities.
Yes, ELDs were primarily introduced for compliance with the FMCSA’s final ELD rule, but with advanced telematic solutions, such as KeepTruckin’s, ELDs are now much more powerful and serve many different purposes.