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Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is from Troy Diffenderfer who shares several key benefits of implementing ELDs into your fleet.

After a second appeal was recently denied, it looks like the MAP-21 electronic logging device rule will soon be in effect and if your company hasn’t already, you’ll soon be implementing ELDs into your fleet in the near future. This rule essentially calls for the Secretary of Transportation to adopt the proper regulations requiring ELD use in commercial vehicles driving interstate, something that must be accomplished by December 18th of this year. This new rule has left the trucking industry divided. On one side, many feel that it creates a safer work environment for truckers, and will allow employers to monitor drivers for any bad habits or issues that may arise. On the other hand, many feel like these ELDs will invade the privacy of truckers and will be a waste of time.

Since the OOIDA’s appeal had been rejected it seems that the rule will remain in place until the December deadline. As an interesting twist, commercial trucks made prior to the year 2000 are actually exempt from the rule, making it a race to find these vehicles for many who wish to avoid fitting their fleets with ELDs. Either way, below we’ve presented some of the benefits to implementing these ELDs, as well as some steps for transitioning them into your fleet.

Benefits of ELDs

Before you even think about these ELDs, it’s important to consider your current fleet and make sure that you have drivers that will be willing to adapt to this new technology. If you feel like you might need new drivers, don’t be afraid to recruit them yourself or through a recruiting service like AllTruckJobs. It’s also important that you end up choosing an ELD that is on the list of registered ELDs for the FMCSA.

·    Replace Traditional Driving Logs

One of the best features of an ELD is the ability to replace the paper versions of travel logs that have quickly become obsolete. Instead, an ELD can track travel in real time so your driver can worry more about the road, and less about calculating mileage, the route, and other aspects of logging his or her journey. Instead of having to manually record your Hours of Service (HOS), ELDs offer a method of saving time, costs, and effort just by switching to an electronic system. This technology will also help your drivers and your company stay organized and make communication between both parties as clear as possible.

·    Run Diagnostics and Reduce Fuel Cost

Another great reason for implementing ELDs is to reduce the fuel cost of your fleet. Companies can track exactly how much time drivers spend idling, and the frequency of these events. This can allow the easy identification of drivers who may be idling more often than is cost efficient, helping to hold people accountable for their fuel consumption. This technology can also run diagnostics on vehicles to ensure that your rigs are running smoothly. Having this data will give you a jump on any maintenance issues that might arise in the future.

·    Tracking Bad Habits

One reason that companies with ELDs love the technology so much is that they are able to track any bad habits that their drivers may have picked up. Whether it’s leaving their rig idling too often, or simply not managing their time well enough, ELDs can help identify bad habits before they become costly. This can also help with driver retention because companies can correct the change quickly without having to harshly criticize drivers.

Implementing ELDs

·    Awareness

The first step of implementing these ELDs is to communicate with your drivers that you will be introducing this new technology in the coming months. Try to set a hard deadline of when you’d like these ELDs fully implemented. Try to connect with truckers verbally about the ELDs so the information doesn’t get lost in an unopened email somewhere.

·    Begin Implementation

A great way to begin implementation will be to find willing and flexible drivers to try out the new ELDs. These will most likely be your younger drivers, but make sure to find any drivers willing to adapt to the technology. Once you have any issues ironed out, you can begin putting ELDs into all of your rigs.

·    Finish Implementing ELDs

The last step would be to fully implement ELDs into your fleet. Hopefully, this new technology will allow your trucking to company to run smoother than ever before. Remember, the deadline is December 18th, 2017, so make sure you have your ELDs implemented before then.