ELD Guide

Guide to ELD for trucking

For most trucking companies, an ELD is required. It’s also something that can make drivers and your fleet safer, more efficient, and more profitable. 

Those in trucking should not only understand all of the components of the FMCSA’s ELD mandate, but should also be aware of other information, like how they can benefit from using an ELD, including increasing their profits.

What is the FMCSA’s ELD mandate?

The FMCSA ELD mandate is a federal law which says that commercial motor vehicle operators (the ones covered by the mandate) must use compliant electronic logging devices. Some operators in trucking are exempt, but most are required to comply. 

Understanding the ELD mandate completely can be tricky, but the deeper you understand it, the more compliant you’ll be and the more benefits you’ll get out of using your ELD. The central purpose of the ELD mandate is to make sure that all commercial drivers stay safe on the road, reducing driver fatigue, enforcing Hours of Service rules, and minimizing road accidents. 

The FMCSA says:

“[FMCSA] announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.”

Learn more about the ELD mandate.

How to increase profits using the data from your ELD

There are many benefits to utilizing the data from your ELD, and in this guide to ELD for trucking, we’ll highlight how to use your ELD data to increase profits. ELD tools provide a huge amount of data about a trucking company’s operations, and in many cases data that wasn’t previously accessible to the company.

This data can be turned into actionable insights that have a huge positive impact on profits. Companies can use their ELD data to do many things, including:

  • Reducing fuel usage: The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) says fuel makes up 24% of operational costs, so this is an area worthy of concern. ELD systems track how long each driver is idling, and present this data in easy-to-understand reports. Fleet managers can then use these reports to incentivize drivers to have less idle time, which saves fuel costs for the company while also monetarily rewarding drivers. 
  • Improving driver safety and avoiding accidents: Those in trucking don’t need this ELD guide to tell them that accidents are always a risk when on the road. ELD solutions monitor things like hard braking, hard acceleration, and hard cornering events for all drivers. The data is then used to calculate a safety ranking for each driver as a scorecard. This data allows you to coach drivers in a smarter way, focusing on the ones that need the most correction. You can also use the data to reward safe drivers and encourage safer behavior among your entire fleet. 
  • Preventing vehicle breakdowns: Because breakdowns can be fairly expensive for trucking companies, this is another area in which you can use your ELD data. ELDs can constantly monitor your fleet’s trucks for fault codes, listing them in simple and digestible reports. This helps save time and money by avoiding the need for diagnostic services at the shop.
  • Improve asset utilization: Some ELDs provide data on utilization rates for vehicles, and you can use this data to understand which trucks are being underutilized so you can get them on the road, sell them, or lease them during peak seasons.
  • Avoiding detention time: The FMCSA reports that detention time costs trucking companies more than $3 billion per year. Some ELDs have Facility Insights that reflect average dwell times for delivery windows at facilities, so you can use this data to evaluate possible detention time before accepting a load.