Everything You Need to Know about ELDs and Trucking

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What if you were risking a costly fine every time you drove your truck on the job?

A recent government mandate requires all truckers to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). However, most truckers don’t know the exact government requirements, which means they may be violating this mandate without even knowing it.

Don’t worry, though. We’re here to save you time and money with our comprehensive guide to ELDs and trucking!

What Is the Mandate?

Essentially, every trucker who must prepare hours of service records of duty status must now use an ELD. Such ELDs must meet government standards for design and performance and registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

The mandate also requires drivers and carriers to maintain and keep relevant ELD records. And on a bright side, the mandate protects drivers from discrimination or harassment based on the recorded ELD data.

Are They Expensive?

Truckers with long memories may fear ELDs being really expensive, as fleets once had to pay over two thousand dollars for a single electronic logging system twenty years ago.

However, official estimates for modern ELDs are that they will be under $500 per vehicle on average. And while no one likes an added expense, these systems do not represent a significant additional cost per vehicle.

Carriers may be able to get significant savings by exploring trusted vendors for different pricing options.

Will It Be Distracting?

Some truckers are understandably worried about safety on the road. They worry that having to interact with these devices on the road could lead to delays or even accidents.

Fortunately, that is not the case. Truckers primarily interact with the ELDs when the vehicle is at rest, like when they indicate that they are off duty or sleeping. Otherwise, the system automatically keeps track of driving hours without any interaction from the driver.

As a bonus, most ELDs offer an audio function. This offers features such as countdowns of hours left and a reminder that truckers have enough time to reach a parking place before hours run out.

Will It Affect Inspections?

Skeptics often wonder if ELDs will slow down safety inspections. Alternately, they may worry if such systems could cost them their jobs by automatically reporting violations.

Fortunately, this is just a myth. The ELD is merely a technological replacement for a paper logbook, and it has no way of automatically reporting a violation.

One benefit of ELDs for trucking that drivers often enjoy is that it speeds up roadside inspections. This is because inspection officials can quickly review ELD data and then get the driver back out on the road.

Is It Worth It?

Earlier, we discussed how individual ELDs do not cost that much. Nonetheless, drivers and carriers alike often wonder: Are they actually worth it?

In a word, yes. Such systems promote driver safety and ultimately save lives, which is good in and of itself. And being able to monitor drivers and their behaviors can help carriers create more efficient procedures that boost their bottom line.

ELDs and Trucking: The Bottom Line

Now you know about the importance of ELDs and trucking. But do you know where to get the best prices on ELDs themselves?

At ODYN, we’re all about saving logistics professionals time and money. To see what we can help you save, contact us for a quote today!

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