It is time to bid adieu to the old fashioned way of maintaining a log book or register to keep a tab on the hours of service (HOS) of a driver. In the early days of transportation or trucking, most fleet administers followed an Automatic On-board Recording Device (AOBRD) in order to keep a track of their fleet. However, in the recent years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) ELD mandate has been making the rounds through USA.
What is ELD? Why is it suddenly so important? Would you need to make a switch too? How do you go about with it? You would find an answer to each of these queries as we help you make your transition to ELDs with ease.
This is a logging device that will replace your pen and paper records while only making the maintenance of these records simpler as well as safer. Here’s how;
Most experienced fleet managers are familiar with automatic on board recording devices and have indeed made it their comfort zone. This is why the FMCSA has given these early birds a two year window to upgrade from AOBRDs to ELDs. Those who did not follow a reliable e-log were compelled to transition to an ELDs platform right away. However, as the two year window of exemption for the old users began in the year 2017, we have now come to the end of this leeway. ELDs will be mandated on December 16, 2019 for every truck. As the U.S. Mobile Resource Management Systems Market Study conjectures that the number of AOBRDs and ELDs that are in use today are more or less equal in number, making the switch has become the need of the hour in order to avoid a bottle neck like situation at the last minute.
So which category do you belong to? Register or AOBRDs? Here are a few guidelines to consider through your journey from AOBRDs to ELDs and why.
How ELDs outsmart AOBRDs?
- While AOBRDs kept a track of downtime, waste of fuel, vehicle wear and tear, mileage, engine hours, location, etc. ELDs are still more upgraded and efficient.
- As an addition to the aforementioned, ELDs also provide vehicle diagnostics and driver information.
- While AOBRDs demand manual speed setting, ELDs record the speed automatically for anything above 5 mph.
- You cannot make any edition or record changes in ELDs without the consent of the driver, which serves as a big plus avoiding unnecessary tampering.
- ELDs possess a graph grid display.
- ELDs are easier to use as they are almost wire free.
- They can be accessed through a simple smartphone or tablet, whichever the driver uses.
- They are also less expensive in comparison with AOBRDs
Other than the ELDs mandate by FMCSA, ELDs installation sure carries more benefits than the old school AOBRDs. Here’s what you should consider while you upgrade from your existing e-log system to ELDs.
All You Need to Know for an Easy Transition to ELDs
- Find a good ELD provider who will help with uninstalling your current hardware and be time efficient.
- Plan your installation well before you switch.
- Conduct a training session for your drivers so they are well versed with the new device operations. This is indeed crucial as the ELDs information cannot be tampered without your driver’s consent.
- The driver will be solely responsible for their logs as only the driver would own his own log. Hence if the driver is proficient with his log, any roadside inspection would run smoother.
- On ELDs installation, the driver should be trained to transfer log in details and other information to the official FMCSA website. This will enable the concerned inspector to access important information as required through the website itself.
- Find a provider that will guarantee good service and prompt help if any issues faced while getting accustomed with the new device after installation.
- Understand the urgency of the ELDs mandate and take necessary steps to upgrading your existing device as soon as possible.
- Make the switch now so on implementation on the mandate; you aren’t faced with unnecessary problems or confusions.
- Prepare a committee with one representative from each department of your business that will be involved with the installation of the ELDs. This will help with handling different reports by the concerned person in the business. It will also help with flow charts if required.
- Take time out to get a minute understanding on the reports required to be presented at the terminals.
- There is an array of providers in the market when it comes to ELDs services. Choose wisely. Do not assume that your current provider will eventually upgrade to ELDs.
- Gather all information required before you transition to ELDs, so you don’t end up with an obsolete plan in hand.
- Ask your provider to give you a demonstration of the device after installing it and clear out all doubts if any with the provider on installation itself.
- It would be good if your ELD provider has a 24 hour support team that would help resolving issues at any given time.
- Have a word with the other customers of your ELD provider and understand the functioning of your provider through their valuable feedback.
- Take a look at the FMCSA website and go through the ELDs checklist. Make sure your provider has ELDs that meet all the requirements on the checklist. Ask for a demo to ensure the same.
- Understand the interface method and check if there is an application programming interface (API) available. Also find out the integration method that complies with your new ELDs.
- Test your ELDs after installation to ensure that you have understood the functioning of the device properly.
The switch from the current logging device to ELDs can indeed be a challenging one. However, extensive research on information regarding the same can make it a simpler task. Also resorting to a good ELD provider like Matrack Inc. would serve as a wise option thus making this transition easier. For any assistance on the same you could visit our Electronic Logging Device section in our website.