The US Congress, in 2012, introduced a bill known as the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.” This bill is also well-known as MAP-21. This bill listed out highway funding measures. It also included a provision that made it mandatory for the FMCSA to create a rule instructing the use of (ELDs) electronic logging devices.
The aims of the ELD is to keep an electronic record of the (RODS) Record of Duty Status of a driver. This replaces the need for using a paper logbook. Logbooks are still utilized by a few drivers to keep a record of their obedience to (HOS) Hours of Service requirements.
The ELD Standard
A lot of fleets and drivers take advantage of AOBRDs (onboard recording devices) to minimize paperwork. With these devices, they are able to meet the standards outlined in rule 395.15 of the FMCSA. This standard mandates them to record the duty status of the driver. Additionally, any alteration in status, alongside the amount of time they run a vehicle automatically must be recorded.
If a law enforcement agency requests it, drivers must have the capacity to instantly offer the AOBRD display information. Additionally, they need to be able to provide the information for the last seven days.
The ELD Standard is also developed on a directive for (EOBR) electronic on-board recording devices. The EOBR rule was applicable to drivers and fleets that had severe issues complying with HOS. However, not every truck had to deal with the tracking requirements of HOS.
Eventually, it ceased over the fears that carriers could take advantage of the devices. They didn’t want them to use it to pester truck drivers, something the present ELD requirements aimed to deal with.
Today, ELDs incorporated in motor vehicles used for commercial purposes can keep track and record lots of data. The data relates to the vehicle and a driver that go farther than RODS. These could range from IFTA automation, driver vehicle inspection reports, driver behavior reporting on idling, over speeding, and hard braking.
Lots of systems incorporate route and map solutions alongside. These can aid drivers in navigating past construction and avoiding areas with a high level of traffic.
Besides, lots of fleets are beginning to understand how beneficial ELDs can be. This is because they can:
- Help drivers minimize paperwork which in turn saves time
- Let a dispatcher have a comprehensive detail of the status of a driver.
- Allows them to make better plans for HOS compliance requirements
- Minimize the problems of storing a paper log
Tablets and Smartphones and the ELD
When putting the ELD rule together, the FMCSA had to consider costs. The increased cost it could be placing on fleets was taken into account. They worked to ensure it did not burden fleets with unaffordable technology.
To deal with cost concerns about ELD devices, the FMCSA has offered tablets, smartphones, and other durable handhelds. These can be utilized so long as the entire system goes with the requirements of ELD.
A fleet may decide to leverage on a tablet or smartphone ELD. This would aid in addressing the start-up expenses that come with a few HOS compliance systems. With the broad utilization of smartphones, truck drivers won’t have any hassles using them. They also give drivers who want diversity the option to select from a broad option of mobile gadgets.