Electronic Logging Devices and the Trucking Industry

Semi Trucks Loaded Parked in a rowChange is never easy, but with change comes new opportunities. The transportation industry is getting ready to shift to paperless tracking for its driver’s hours on the road. This change will replace the paper logs and will aim to take the guesswork out of clocking a driver’s HOS, or hours of service. The new electronic logging device rule from the FMCSA is meant to protect the driver from clocking too many consecutive hours of service on the road, and will equal safety for the driver as well as pedestrian motorists. Another goal of the FMCSA mandate is to increase HOS compliance in drivers.

Benefits of ELD

One of the many benefits of an electronic logging device or ELD is that it precisely tracks your drive time as opposed to paper logs which must be logged in 15 minute intervals. This can be a big plus in a driver’s productivity by accounting for when a driver makes stops. The timer starts when the driver gets back on the road instead of waiting until a 15-minute interval occurs. It may seem small, but over time, the differences add up to quite a lot of money.

Another benefit for truckers using an ELD is the improvement on a driver’s technique. The ELD can spot inefficiencies in driving such as speeding, braking, and idle time. Transitioning to electronic time logging may be the only challenge involved with the new mandate. Drivers will soon learn the benefits outweigh the costs that come with using their ELD units.

Features of ELD Units

ELD units vary in what they can provide for a driver. The range of capabilities and features of an ELD unit are broad, but here is a list of potential features and information an ELD unit can compile:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Engine hours
  • Mileage
  • Vehicle
  • Carrier identifications
  • Carrier location
  • Navigation
  • Linking to Cummins Connected Diagnostics
  • Monitor tire inflation
  • Dashcam video
  • Fuel tax data collection
  • Tracking load status
  • Planning driver availability

Exemptions to the ELD Rule

  • Not all truck drivers will be subject to the FMCSA rule requiring electronic logging devices in order to be compliant. Drivers who use paper records of duty status for no more than 8 days for every 30-day period are not required to abide by the new ELD rules.
  • Additionally, those drivers who are transporting with a vehicle that was made before the year 2000 are not subject to the Electronic Logging Device mandate.
  • Drivers who perform driveaway-towaway deliveries where the vehicle being driven is the commodity itself are not subject to the FMCSA mandate.
  • Fleets that have already implemented an electronic log system won’t be required to use electronic logging devices until December of 2019.