The impending ELD mandate promises to make manual fuel tax compliance a thing of the past. But before fleets select an ELD solution, it’s critical they know exactly what they’re getting.
With the mandate looming, dozens of new, unknown service providers are jumping into the market. However, many of these solutions simply don’t measure up, particularly when it comes to automation, reporting and compliance for fuel tax purposes.
Service providers that are new to the industry often don’t understand the nuances of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) or International Registration Plan (IRP) regulations compared to ELD rules, and their solutions fall short of offering full compliance. This can result in costly errors and wasted investments in technology, not to mention the risk of unintentional non-compliance for well-meaning fleets and drivers.
Here are four important questions for fleet managers and owners/operators to ask service providers when seeking an ELD solution that provides fully compliant fuel tax reporting:
How do you ensure the data is accurate?
Fuel tax reporting and compliance is highly complex, with multiple variables and data sets that change frequently based on truck type, fuel efficiency, geography and fuel price. Precise fuel use and mileage recording is absolutely necessary to stay compliant. While many new service providers simply use the raw data generated by the computer without ensuring its accuracy, PeopleNet’s electronic logs, with IFTA and IRP reporting solutions by Vusion, run all fuel and mileage data through an exhaustive data-cleaning process to ensure accurate results. This thorough process saves fleets money and avoids compliance headaches.
In what format is data provided?
It’s not enough for an ELD to simply provide raw data from a GPS device to populate IFTA and IRP forms; that data must be in a format that is easily consumed and understandable to potential auditors. Vusion exports its electronic log data in a format that can be used to complete all required forms, ensuring the reporting process is streamlined and as painless as possible for the fleet and for individual drivers.
How long do you retain my fleet’s data?
While the retention period for hours-of-service data is just six months, regulations require fuel tax and registration data to be stored for longer than five years in some cases. Unlike most electronic log providers, PeopleNet and Vusion retain these records for five and a half years. Coupled with a fully automated process for capturing, recording and reporting fuel and mileage tax information, PeopleNet and Vusion provide a robust and compliant solution in case a fleet is audited. If an audit does occur, Vusion also provides complete audit support, unlike most other providers.
Integrated with PeopleNet, Vusion specializes in data analytics and integration for trucking companies, providing operational metrics – including automated fuel and mileage tax reporting – to help fleet management make better, more predictive decisions about equipment, vehicles and people. Founded in 2009, Vusion has seen rapid growth, today serving more than 350 companies with a total of over 150,000 tractors.