Electronic Logs: What are These and Why are They Important?

Posted in Mandate Info
(Last Updated On: September 23, 2019)

By now, you’ve most certainly heard that different truck drivers are going to be thoroughly required to use electronic logging devices. These are commonly referred to as ELDs. They are going to substitute the existing paper logs in order for the drivers to be able to track their hours of service.

As it is with pretty much every change out there, it is obvious that there are going to be pros and cons. As such, we are going to have a comprehensive look at both so that we can decide whether this is something beneficial.

Cons of using Electronic Logs 

A. Higher Costs: Mostly higher initial cost

The electronic logs mandates that those devices would be installed into many trucks. With the high demand will come higher prices. Therefore, truck drivers could expect spend a pretty penny doing the initial installation. Under initial consideration, one may be fixated about the expensive price of those devices.  However,  paper logs take considerable amount of time to fill out and maintain. Over the long run, reducing paper trailer will save some money. Another negative cost factor is  the maintenance of those electronic devices.

B. Learning Curve – Another new technology to master

Truck drivers initially had to learn to use different GPS devices. Then, truck drivers had to learn to use those smart phones with many of their apps. The electronic logs are yet another technology that truck drivers have to learn.

This is something that truck drivers are not particularly keen on.

In addition to the learning curve, it would take time to adapt to those devices. For example, the driver would need to stop more frequently to make a change to driving mode. However, it’s not just truck drivers that would have to adapt – this includes fleet operators, dispatchers, enforcement personnel and others of the kind.

C. Loss of privacy

The electronic logs devices take advantage of GPS tracking. Drivers are going to have their overall route traced and logged. While on duty they being traced within a 1-mile radius accuracy and when off duty – within 10-mile radius accuracy.

One may ask what privacy can truck drivers expect. While truck drivers shouldn’t be involved in anything other than driving during work hours.  Yet, many dispatchers may use the GPS tracing by ELDs to push drivers  to work harder and without stop.

The pros of Electronic Logs

A. Increased accuracy

ELDs’ increase accuracy. This advantage is without a doubt one of the most serious advantages of electronic logs devices. The GPS-based ELDs are going to keep an exact record of the distance(actual miles) as well as the time the driver has spent behind the wheel. Those accurate records could aid in determining fuel efficiency . In addition, it will be useful for the required IFTA fillings.

B. Easier tracking

Similar to the mileage tracing, the hours of service traced by ELDs will provide the manager with accurate and easy way to monitor the HOS usage by each driver. This makes compliance and operations a lot easier. Finally , this could assist in resource planning.

C. Faster Compliance

With ELDs, businesses as well as regulatory institutions can quickly and accurately cross-check information and make sure that everything is handled properly. This is something very important.

D. Faster Paychecks

ELDs allow the managers to quickly calculate the salaries and the according paychecks of drivers by referencing the data.
Keep in mind that this information is also impossible to be manipulated.

E. Reduce Administrative burden

Think about how many times you have spent countless hours, recording Hours of Service. All of this burden will go away with electronic logs.

Electronic logs devices record an electronic record which is transferred around the company and stored for compliance procedures. The electronic format makes it easier to share and store. With a simple ELD, you will be able to get rid of all that hassle very quickly and conveniently. This is something that you should take into account, also this is an important point to consider for owner operators. With this in mind, this is also going to spare you a lot of cash.

F. Reducing operating expenses

ELDs as well as a good fleet management dashboard are going to allow you to monitor your idle-time tracking.
You will be able to track exactly the amount of time the driver is spending idling. With this kind of raw information, you would be able to identify those drivers who idle for far too long and are doing it more often rather than not.

As a result, you will be able to save thousands every single month as you’d be capable of tracking the excessive idling and conveniently reduce the waste of fuel.

G. Keep track of vehicle diagnostic

Every single ELD will be connected directly to your diagnostic port. It will allow the device to monitor fault codes actively. With this in mind, you will be quickly able to identify the need for repair and diagnostic.

What is more, being the manager of an entire fleet of trucks isn’t as easy because you would have to be well aware when each truck has to go for regular maintenance. With a comprehensive ELD and a nicely done dashboard, you are definitely going to spare yourself the hassle. This is something very convenient.

Most Important Benefit: Compliance

The ultimate goal of the Electronic goals, is to ensure that the driver doesn’t spend more time behind the wheel than he’s legally allowed to. This is going to ensure that everything is handled properly. The intention of these devices is to ensure safe roads as fatigue in truck drivers is one of the main causes of accidents.

In conclusion: The benefits outweigh the costs 

In addition to complying with regulatory provisions, there are far more advantages of ELDs than the negatives. The electronic logs provide truck drivers and fleet owners with a significant amount of value.

The trucking industry is quickly shifting towards the digital implementations and as such. As technology develops and becomes more accurate. Failing to do so is going to result in you being behind the curve, and failing to get things done as they should be.

With all this being said, these devices suggest even more convenience than you can imagine. However, it’s impossible to enlist all of them.

As you can see, there are far more benefits of ELDs than the negatives and even though it’s true that you would have to account for a few drawbacks – they are most definitely worth your consideration. These are devices which are capable of helping you out terrifically and that’s what you have to account for.

While it’s true that these devices might cost a bit more and there is a steep learning curve, those eld challenges can go away with time.  On the other hand, the benefits of using ELD's are there to stay for the long term.

Check some of our devices reviews such as BridgeHaul ELD, MasterELD, VDO Roadlog or Keep Truckin.

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Answer these quick questions for your