Since the new ELD Mandate was published in December 2015, fleet operators have been rolling out the new technology and shaking up the way that records of duty status are captured. For drivers, in the first instance, this will take some getting used to; it can mean a massive process change and that’s why the majority of businesses are starting the roll-out now.
Some companies that we’ve spoken to have experienced resistance from drivers to accept the changes at first. After all, it is a new technology which brings better accountability and transparency to the working day - something which isn’t always welcomed!
The benefits to the drivers, however, should not be under-estimated and it’s really important to communicate them alongside any pre-warning of technology changes. In our experience, once drivers start to use electronic logging devices in the field, they’ll never look back.
Firstly, there aren’t many drivers that love paperwork. Removing this hassle can save as much as 40 minutes per day per driver and frees up their time to concentrate on drive-time, fitting in as many stops as they can each day. Alongside more time spent on the road, the automatic capture of information prevents manual errors and the resultant calls from the back-office chasing information.
The automation that ELDs offer will remove the stress on drivers to remember to take driving breaks in accordance with legislation. The ELD will give the driver a clear indication of how long they’ve been driving for, how many hours of drive time they have left and when they need to take a break. In the past, many drivers relied on memory to complete daily logs - the ELD will do this for them so they won’t need to spend their time making calculations and verifying hours.
Secondly, the automatic transfer of information to the back-office means that drivers don’t have to drop off their logs for record-keeping and the real-time visibility means drivers won’t be chased for status and location updates.
This convenience also extends to field inspections. Previously, drivers would typically hand over paper logs to a field inspector, but with ELDs, the inspector is able to receive a data transfer of logs which they can quickly verify. This will mean that your driver can get back out on the road much quicker.
Lastly, and possibly the most important benefit for the driver is their safety. The FMCSA estimate that 500,000 accidents happen on American roads each year and 15% of these are blamed on driver fatigue. ELDs will help to minimize this number by warning drivers when to take breaks and some solutions, such as Trimble FieldMaster Logs, can go one step further. Driver behavior, such as speeding and harsh maneuvers, can be monitored and fed back so that drivers can be encouraged to follow safe driving practices.
To learn more about the benefits that ELDs can bring to your fleet business, download our Quick Guide.