Four Steps for Phasing into ELD Compliance

Just because it’s no longer an option for some fleets to have electronic logging devices (ELDs) onboard doesn’t make it a bad thing. The objective for ELD compliance is to increase highway safety by tracking how much time your drivers are spending behind the wheel. If your fleet is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ELD rule, as of December 18, 2017 you are officially in the phase-in period.

Between now and December of 2019, you must either install ELDs for recording driving time and train drivers on how to use them or see if a telematics solution that you already have in place can cover the requirements.

Here are four steps for fleets to implement a compliant ELD solution:

1. Evaluate
Verify that the ELDs you’ve selected meet FMCSA technical specifications and request a demonstration by your vendor. Some required features include separate accounts for drivers and administrators, syncs with the vehicle’s engine, records driving time, distance and location, and so forth.

2. Install
If you already have telematics technology in your vehicles for GPS tracking, dispatch, route planning, navigation, etc., check with your fleet management software provider to see how they can also cover your needs for recording hours of service. If not, your fleet management company can help arrange installation with a telematics provider.

3. Train
When a driver does not log onto the ELD, as soon as the vehicle is in motion the ELD will generate alerts to the driver, and depending on your data integration solutions, your fleet team may be alerted as well. Therefore, drivers and administrative staff must be trained to use ELDs, including how to create, edit and manage their own hours, and collect required supporting documents.

4. Transfer
You must be able to transfer data from your ELDs to safety officials as needed. Wireless transfer and flash drive methods are acceptable. A driver must also be able to provide either the display or a printout to an authorized safety official upon request. Likely your fleet management software provider will handle this step for you, making this one less thing you need to be troubled with.

By having drivers meet the requirements, ELD compliance can help reduced accident costs and liability and improve productivity. On top of that, chances are you can use one telematics solution for hours of service reporting, driver vehicle inspection reports and IFTA mileage reporting.

ARI’s ability to integrate Big Data from fleet ELD and other telematics devices will streamline your fleet’s efforts to meet compliance requirements on a number of levels. Download ARI’s white paper to learn more about how to turn Big Data into actionable information.