Heritage Transport is proud to announce that we have partnered with PeopleNet (Peoplenetonline.com) for the installation and implementation of their electronic logging device (ELD) system in our fleet of trucks. Our goal is to have the system fully implemented by May of this year—well ahead of the compliance deadline of December 2017!
“What is the ELD rule,” you may be asking yourself, “and why do I care about it?” The ELD is all about the health and safety of commercial drivers and, potentially, the public and the environment—and those concerns directly relate to potential liability should accidents occur. Let’s take a look at the rule and why it’s an important issue for any company that conducts commercial transport or uses a commercial carrier.
ELD Rule in Brief
The ELD rule took effect on February 16, 2016 and is administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The rule is intended to help drivers and carriers track and comply with the DOT hours-of-service (HOS) limits, which are themselves intended to help reduce fatigue-related accidents. The rule applies to most drivers and carriers that are required to maintain Records of Duty Status (RODS). The rule compliance date is December 18, 2017.
The rule includes the following key requirements:
- Requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare HOS RODS.
- Sets ELD performance and design standards and requires ELDs to be certified and registered with FMCSA.
- Establishes what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep.
- Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or related technology and provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.
If you would like to read more about the specifics of the rule, see the FMCSA ELD webpage by clicking HERE. The FMCSA webpage also includes several useful checklists on ELD selection and use.
Fatigue can result in slower response times, attention difficulties, and poor decision making, all of which are known to increase the risk of vehicular accidents. According to the DOT, nearly 4,000 people die in large truck crashes each year and driver fatigue is a leading contributor to such accidents (DOT).
An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle’s engine to automatically record driving time and provide more accurate HOS data. This information is important in ensuring the driver stays within the HOS limit. Some ELDs even warn the driver when they are nearing their HOS limit.
Based on data from the Center for Truck and Bus Safety at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), drivers using e-log showed an 11.7″ reduction in crash rates (VTTI). This means fewer driver injuries, reduced risks to the public, and reduced risks to the environment.
Use of an ELD reduces the opportunities for HOS records to be tampered with by drivers or carriers. The automatically recorded data also makes it more difficult for a motor carrier to harass or intimidate a driver into exceeding their HOS limit. All of these benefits work toward improved safety and reduced liability.
Improved Records Management and Regulatory Compliance
ELDs record other useful data that can be used to simplify fleet management and regulatory compliance:
- Date and time
- Location information
- Engine hours
- Vehicle miles
- Identification information for the driver, vehicle, and motor carrier
The ELD can generate data displays and prepare electronic data packages for transfer. It can also print RODS, generate Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports, and meet other local, state, or federal reporting requirements.
Increased Cost and Time Efficiency
Carriers and drivers are also realizing cost and time benefits from ELD use, such as:
- Saving driver time and hassle by reducing paperwork
- Keeping dispatchers up-to-date on a driver’s status
- Helping carriers better plan for loads in light of HOS compliance needs
For example, the realized cost savings from simply replacing paper logs with automatic e-logs is calculated to be $705 per driver each year! These savings come from reduced time for RODS preparation, submittal, and management, and eliminating the need to purchase paper log books.
Other costs savings can be realized when ELD data is used to increase fleet management efficiency. For example, engine and truck data can be used to track and manage maintenance concerns and schedules and reduce truck downtimes.
Heritage Has Your Back
Heritage Transport’s forward-thinking implementation of ELDs is just one of the Better Solutions we are always striving to bring to you, our customer. We want to provide you with the most beneficial services possible using technology and approaches that save you time and money, and that bring you greater peace of mind about your transport needs.
Matt Wise, our Director of DOT Compliance, is happy to talk with you about ELDs or any other transport concerns. You can call Matt at (317) 486-2845 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heritage Transport’s Matt Wise and Jake Leitzman demonstrate the effectiveness and convenience of the PeopleNet ELD system.