Unpacking the requirements of the ELD Final Rule

Unpacking the requirements of the ELD Final Rule

Like any equipment solution you choose for your fleet, it’s going to be determined by application. It’s important to take a look at your fleet’s needs and see how those align with the ELD mandate. If you think of this as an opportunity rather than a legal obligation, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the latest technology.

“By only meeting the minimum requirements, fleets will miss out on some of the other benefits of ELDs. While it’s not a requirement of the mandate, adopting an ELD that features truck-specific navigation advances fleet efficiency and saves drivers time,” said Ravi Kodavarti, Rand McNally’s director of commercial products. “Fleets can reduce out-of-route miles with truck-specific navigation. Increasing coordination between drivers and loads can better position carriers for a competitive reputation in the marketplace by keeping drivers and loads on schedule, and improving customer satisfaction.”

“Just doing the minimum does not necessarily help the driver,” added Tom Cuthbertson, Omnitracs’ vice president of regulatory affairs. “Alerts are not a requirement, but they help drivers with timers or warnings of breaking a limit and when they need to take a break, which makes life much easier for them. Devices can also gather other information from the ECM such as vehicle degrading faults which provide insight on service failures and avoiding maintenance costs.”

Elise Chianelli, director of safety and compliance at PeopleNet, explained that a fleet management system (FMS) will address a wider scope of issues beyond compliance to improve safety and efficiency. “An FMS can help a fleet meet a broader range of goals through capabilities like onboard event recording, speed monitoring, IFTA reporting and comprehensive dashboards and analytics reports, just to name a few,” she explained. “This is an opportunity for fleets to not only become compliant, but to also improve how they do business and generate a greater return on investment.”

If you’re ahead of the game and already have an ELD solution in place, it’s a good time to review your process to ensure that it meets the Final Rule and that you are getting the most out of your chosen technology. Per the Final Rule, all suppliers will be required to certify their ELD Devices. “These approved devices will then be available to the public on a FMCSA managed website,” Chianelli said. “Fleets need to ensure that the systems they chose to implement are listed on the ELD Approved website.”

“There are many technical changes in the final rule to take into account as well. Display requirements on the screens have increased, new transfer requirements are being enforced, and an increased integration on the ECM has to be adopted,” Cuthbertson added. “At the very least, fleets should make sure their devices meet those minimum requirements.”

While the final ruling is here, it’s still going to be a long road to implement and enforcement. Be sure to bookmark the FMCSA ELD website for all the latest details, and check out the ELD Checklist for Carriers, found here.

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