When it comes to ELD manufacturers, there are well over 100 companies that are offering a number of devices that you can choose from. However, whether or not you are able to be compliant with the FMCSA ELD mandate could depend on which device you choose and which ELD manufacturer you go with.
In this article, we’re going to focus on what type of device you need to look for, how to know if a manufacturer meets the FMCSA regulations, and give you a list of ELD manufacturers.
Electronic Logbook Device: Everything You Need to Know
Now, the very first thing that we’d like to start off with is the official mandating of ELDs. The final electronic logbook device by the FMCSA was published back in December in 2015.
The mandate has applied to cover more than three million drivers who are currently hitting the road. It is also important to be well-aware of the fact that this rule does not apply to anyone who is driving professionally – there are certain exemptions.
Electronic logbook devices: what you need to know?
Now, the very first thing to consider here is that this is a device that’s used by professional truck drivers as well as by commercial motor carriers to conveniently and easily track their HOS (Hours of Service) and to be FMCSA compliant.
By the end of 2017, all CDL drivers were required to keep proper RODS (Record of Duty Status) and must use an ELD in order to conveniently record their HOS rules.
The Costs Of Logbook Devices
There are quite a lot of different things that you would have to keep in mind when it comes to the pricing of the ELD.
In order to prepare for the mandate’s passing, the FMCSA managed to go ahead and examine a range of HOS logging devices on the market in order to set a proper benchmark for the approximate estimations in terms of the costs that the truck companies or drivers are expected to pay per year annually.
So, the results were rather interesting. The ELDs ranged from an annual price of $165 right to $832. The most demanded device currently is priced at $495 per truck.
Additional Benefits of Electronic Logbook
This is actually a trend and it comes with quite a few economic benefits. There are quite a lot of paperwork reductions and a lot of different researches show that the ELD driver would have substantial long-term saving compared to keeping those logs in a manner that was held previously. This is an important benefit.
further, the mobile technology have improved and advanced tremendously. ELDs could now be run on smartphones as well as on tablets. Previously, they were only available on a fixed hardware– On board.
Start Up Cost
The start-up cost for a electronic logbook device decreased significantly. Regardless of the business size, the return on the actual investment is positive.
Every business owner can recognize the ROI. These are solutions which shave off a tremendous workload off a lot of administrative personnel, hence increasing the effectiveness of the overall process.
Cost Saving While Using ELDs
Many truckers are mainly concerned about cost saving. According, to a report issued by the the FMCSA, the cost saving is there. The report named the Regulatory Impact Analysis, provides insight. The report suggests that the paperwork savings per every single driver(annually) are significant. Bellow are the figures:
Filing the RODS on behalf of the Driver: $487
Submitting the RODS on behalf of the Driver: $56
Filing the RODS on behalf of a Clerk: $56
Getting rid of the paper log books: $42
Therefore, it is safe to conclude that using ELD produce significant cost saving.
Lower Cost Units
Now, it is also important to note that the FMCSA has not recommended general prices. In the past, the prices of ELD devices were not reasonable. Now it is quite a lot of different, there are many providers.
The increase competition reduced prices. Also some manufacturers offer less expensive systems. Those are simple unit which have only the necessary features designed to abide by the mandate for the electronic logbook devices.
Decreased costs of fuel
This is something important. A manager would be able to monitor the excessive idle times or the speeding events. In addition, the manager would be able to adapt incentive programs based on those statistics. Those programs, if built, will enhance the driver’s driving behavior as well as increase the fuel efficiency.
This is some serious saving. Keep in mind that this is per year and per one driver alone. Imagine the amount that a fleet which operates hundreds of trucks would save in the next 5 years. The benefits do not stop there.
Now, keep in mind that the economic savings that drivers and fleets will experience are far from being the only benefits that ELDs bring on the table. With this said, there are quite a lot of additional advantages, which include:
#1 Regulatory Compliance made Simple
Complying with the ELD mandate could also get you to satisfy a range of other regulations as well. These include DVIR as well as IFT regulatory compliance.
Lowered Crash Rates.
The lower crash numbers are very important metric to watch out for. Based on the information provided by the Center for Truck and Bus Safety, drivers who had implemented e-logs actually went through 11.7% less accidents, compared to those who didn’t have it implemented. This is something absolutely substantial.
#2 Easy Installation
Unlike the previous generation of electronic recorders, ELDs are quite easy to install. One of the main drawbacks with Electronic Logbook is the learning curve. However, it is not something that should actually stop you from making the move. The primary reason that ELDs are actually easy to learn.
Once the driver gets over the learning curve, implementation would be easy. The trucking company could then take full advantage of those devices.
What Type of Device You Need
If you are simply looking for an easier way to log information, then you can choose any device that’s on the market. However, if you want to comply with the new FMCSA regulation which requires all trucks to have an ELD device in place, then you need to make sure that the device you’re looking into actually meets all their requirements.
The truth is that there are many devices out there that do not currently meet requirements, even if it’s labeled as an ELD.
Here are the three different terms that you’ll hear for devices:
AOBRD – This stands for Automatic On-Board Recording Device
These devices were introduced in 1988 with the first set of regulations created by FMCSA regarding the use of electronics to monitor commercial vehicle activity.
If you have one of these devices, there is a chance that you can continue to use it, especially if it’s a newer model that can have its software updated to meet the new standards. However, you’ll need to check with the manufacturer about your specific device.
EOBR – This stands for Electronic On-Board Recorder
This type of device is more advanced than the original AOBRD devices and were introduced in the early 2000’s. Up until 2012, this was the preferred device that was up-to-date with the FMCSA regulations at that time.
If you have one of these devices, then it may give you more time to comply with the ELD mandate, so check to make sure that your EOBR device qualifies you to wait before needing to install an ELD.
ELD – This stands for Electronic Logging Device
This term is considered the official one and was established in 2012 with the creation of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century bill that Congress passed which included the ELD mandate.
These devices record more than just hours of service or even drive times. They record everything from GPS position to hard braking. ELD devices are the only ones that are compliant with current FMCSA guidelines.
How to Know if a Device is FMCSA-Compliant
In order for an ELD to be compliant with current standards, the ELD manufacturer must confirm that it complies with the technical specifications as laid out by FMCSA by going through a self-certification process.
From there, they need to register that device with FMCSA and provide proof that they have certified it themselves. FMSCA does not endorse any particular ELD provider or ELD device, and any device that is found to not match their specifications will be removed from their list.
Which ELD Providers are FMCSA-Compliant?
When you’re ready to get your fleet fitted with ELD devices so you can continue to be FMCSA-compliant, then you can get started with any one of the ELD providers on our list.
Keep in mind that every ELD provider and device is different, but they all perform the same basic functions. If there are specific optional functions that are important to you, then you’ll need to make sure that the ELD device and provider you’re looking at will suite your needs.
The other thing you will have to consider when looking at ELD manufacturers are whether they only provide the device or if they also provide services. If you are looking to work with an all-in-one company, then you have to make sure that the ELD manufacturer you choose not only offers the device, but also has monthly services that will work for you.
The List of the ELD Providers[ that are FMSCA-compliant (in alphabetical order) ]
When to Get an ELD Device
The sooner you get an ELD device installed from one of these ELD providers. The sooner you will be able to reap the benefits of having an ELD device, which includes saving your company money in several different ways.
You may have extra time to comply if you already have an AOBRD or EOBR installed. But the sooner you start looking at the ELD providers available to work with, the more time you’ll have to weigh your options carefully to choose the one that’s right for you.
Conclusion: Electronic Logbooks Are A Must!
As you can see, there is quite a lot of merit to taking advantage of comprehensive devices of the kind. The above advantage carry great importance that they should advance your electronic logbook decision.
ELDs have disrupted the trucking industry and this is a positive change. Through the implementation of comprehensive technology, drivers no longer have to manually log their HOS and mileage as well. This is absolutely substantial, resulting in a serious amount of savings throughout time.
The short-term as well as the long-term benefits are absolutely obvious. It is definitely something that you ought to keep in mind and take into account when it comes to it.