Last October, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s (FMCSA) final ruling on ELDs.
This decision means that the ELD Mandate is still on track to take effect starting this year. Paper-based fleets are subject to compliance by December 2017. If the fleet is using a 395.15-compliant Automatic Onboard Recording Device (AOBRD), they have until December 2019 before they need to begin using compliant devices.
With this recent court decision in mind, what is next for fleets that need to maintain compliance with the mandate? By keeping a few things in mind, you can ensure that your road to compliance is a smooth one:
Do Your Homework: Since the final ruling was issued late last year, a lot of new vendors have popped up, claiming to offer “ELD Mandate-compliant” technology. This has led to confusion in the marketplace and left fleets wondering how to choose the right technology provider. This decision is an important one and fleets need to carefully do their research to ensure they are selecting a partner that will give them a fully compliant solution.
It is also crucial to evaluate your needs as an organization. When implementing new technology, why stop at just gaining Hours of Service (HOS) compliance? Fleets should consider taking this opportunity to address other key areas of their business. Selecting a more robust Fleet Management System (FMS) can provide additional capabilities like onboard event recording, speed monitoring, IFTA reporting and comprehensive dashboards and analytics reports. This technology gives fleets not only the ability to electronically log HOS, but to also improve how they do business and help to generate a greater return on investment.
Implement Responsibly: It is also important to create a roadmap for implementing ELD technology. Transitioning from paper logs to an electronic solution means more than simply changing the hardware and software—the change will affect most aspects of the company, from drivers to dispatch. A company’s leadership must have a clear vision and make the organization aware of the plan to implement this new technology.
Implementation is a total team effort. By making sure everyone involved knows why implementation is occurring as well as the benefits of adding ELDs, it will be easier to smoothly introduce the technology within a fleet.
Educate Drivers on Benefits: Since many drivers are only used to keeping track of their hours via paper logs, there may be some initial hesitation to relying on ELDs. It is important to properly educate them on the benefits of this technology, particularly by making the drivers’ jobs easier by saving them time, speeding up inspections and reducing accidents.
Once technology is selected, it is also important to train drivers on how to properly use the devices. In addition to interacting with the devices throughout the day, drivers will also have to use them to produce their logs at roadside inspections. The more knowledgeable your drivers are at producing their logs, the smoother a roadside inspection will go.
The time is now for fleets to start preparing for compliance with the ELD Mandate. Visit our ELD Resource Page to learn more about the mandate and to contact our team to answer any additional questions you may have.