Navigating the Electronic Logging Device Mandate on and off the Road

There are over 33.8 million trucks registered for business in the United States, excluding government and farms vehicles1. Day and night, millions of trucks cruise the road, navigating the web of interstates through coastlines and cities. In the United States, trucking is an essential industry that relies on logistics and comprehensive safety procedures. A minor road accident due to a distracted or fatigued driver could cost a business millions of dollars in legal fees.

The federal government regulates that truck drivers must not drive more than 11 hours in a single stretch. However, surveys indicate that drivers often work longer than the legal allowance2. Without a comprehensive solution to hours-of-service recording, tired drivers not only pose a safety risk to themselves and others, but also a liability risk to the company.

As success often relies on road safety, the U.S. government has recently issued a congressional mandate that takes another step towards comprehensive fleet safety. Known as the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule, this mandate aims to “create a safer work environment for drivers3.” It requires that all carriers implement devices in each truck to better log driving hours. The device must synchronize with the engine to automatically and accurately record hours of service.

The Benefits

   Requiring all trucks to adopt electronic logging devices helps eliminate the hassle around excess paperwork. Digital records tend to be more accurate, consistent, and comprehensive. An adequate logging system helps manage driver fatigue and promote greater communication regarding the truck’s location, schedule, etc… The final deadline for all carriers to select and implement their ELDs is December 16, 2019.

The Challenge

While many carriers, including a leading beverage distributor, have already implemented their ELD systems, many companies seek to promote greater compliance among the drivers. New policies always involve a transition period and the more convenient it is for the driver, the more likely they are to comply.

For truckers to comply with the mandate, they must have a hands-free mobile device activated at all times to accurately measure their miles and schedule. Some drivers make twenty or more deliveries per day, unplugging and re-plugging their devices at each stop. This consistent plugging and unplugging of cords will wind up costing carriers who must account for the wear and tear of the wires.

As companies adapt to the changing laws, many understand that it is essential to make the mandate procedures easier on the driver. Products like MAGLINQ for Enterprise Fleet Safety help companies take the ELD mandate to the next level. With a powerful magnetic connection, easy docking, and contactless charging capabilities, companies can save thousands of dollars and drivers can focus on what’s most important: the road.

Sources

  1. American Trucking Associations, “Reports, Trends & Statistics:” https://www.trucking.org/News_and_Information_Reports_Industry_Data.aspx
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, “Large Trucks:” http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks#cite-text-0-0
  3. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Electronic Logging Devices:” https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices

 

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