While the FMCSA has made it compulsory for big or small businesses to install ELD devices in commercial goods and passenger vehicles, construction vehicles, and many others for road safety and monitoring hours of service by the drivers, these devices are giving more services. Apart from the above benefits for commercial truck owners and fleet operators, these small USB devices are helping to increase business in many ways. It is not only adhering to FMCSA rules and regulations, and compliance was not only the driving factor.
Fleet owners and managers are in an advantageous position by analyzing data received through the ELD devices and, as such, gaining much from them. The bottom line is they can give much-improved services and reap huge benefits, including increasing business revenues.
The Advantage Of Using ELD Devices
The ELD devices collect information like vehicle miles, engine hours, location, date and time, motor carrier identification, and information on drivers. Now, as a fleet owner or fleet manager, you can mine and analyze the data to have the optimal solution for business operations in your favor.
Although FMCSA does not require recording the vehicle’s speed or the engine diagnostic except for recording hours of service, the devices can give you many inputs through local data transfer using Bluetooth or USB. However, if they are connected through telematics, fleet managers and owners can get all information and do the needful to drive the vehicle on the right path, following all safety norms.
If you want to reap all the benefits, an integrated mobile communication and transport management system can be clubbed together to make sophisticated analyses. With massive data available through ELD devices which are standardized and unbiased, fleet owners can get the correct information and improve their fleet services accordingly. Thus, the entire fleet operations become like slicing the cake and eating the pie, which is nothing but profits.
There are massive operational gains with data collected and transmitted by ELD devices. Earlier, while using the paper logs, the data were rounded off, and now every millisecond activity is recorded and added to the total to get a more accurate picture.
For example, if a driver took 25 minutes break, the logging showed 30 minutes on paper, and there was a five-minute loss for the organization or fleet time. Today even if the driver takes 29 minutes break, the ELD device will record that and not 30 minutes. Thus the entire fleet movement is monitored, and there is no scope of passing wrong information in the log book.
- Enhances Safety –As you install ELD devices, you can ensure more safety for others on the road, your vehicle, and the drivers. The drivers become more conscious of the speed and avoid harsh driving and sudden braking. Again, suppose any accident happens not for the fault of your drivers. In that case, it can be easily proved through the data recorded on the ELD device, and the drivers can avoid unnecessary legal harassment as proving innocence becomes easy.
- Route Optimization and Tracking –As a fleet owner or fleet manager, you can track and monitor the vehicle’s movement. With real-time visibility, productivity increases significantly, and the drivers cannot give any alibi for the delay. Fleet owners can pass correct information to their clients or the next delivery or pickup point and win their confidence. It helps to increase business, and the clients can feel the sincerity of the owners and the managers, and often, repeat orders are placed.
- Dealing with Bad Driving Behavior – With ELD devices installed on the dash, you can get information on bad driving, like excess speeding, by the drivers to reach their destination within hours of service. Again hard braking and cornering other vehicles may lead to fatal accidents. As a fleet manager or owner, getting the information about the driver’s behavior will help you to restrain them from such actions and train them accordingly o change their driving habits. If matters are beyond the control even after warning and training, you can put the driver out of the duty roster or bench them.
- Compliance with IFTA –If you are operating in more than one jurisdiction, and then according to International Foreign Tax Agreement, you need to file a quarterly fuel tax report. With the ELD device in place, you can now simplify the process of filling as every refueling in a foreign land is recorded in it. The calculations are automated, and the reports thus generated can save thousands of dollars incurred in calculations and filling the tax otherwise. As there are no risks of human error for automated calculations using ELD devices, the audit risks and penalties are either zero or minimized.
- Diagnosing Vehicular Issues –As you get retrospective reports on fuel consumption, carbon emission, fault codes, and odometer in real-time, you can plan maintenance of your vehicles. Reduce the downtime that may take place for significant breakdowns otherwise. With a detailed report of vehicular faults, fleet owners and managers can preplan the vehicle maintenance issues well ahead and do the needful without delay. With less downtime, it enables you to have more vehicles in your fleet at any given time.
- Less Administrative Burden –– As the ELD devices automatically track and record all vehicle activities, including movements and idle time, manual paperwork is not needed, unlike in earlier days. Fleet owners and managers do not need to manage heaps of papers and analyze the reports. Thus they can concentrate more on the operational front than on analyzing data. They can connect with more customers, deal with customer issues judiciously, and increase business volumes and revenues. The owners and the managers can enjoy much more flexible working hours and concentrate on other fleet-related work.
Installing ELD devices is required not only for complying with the FMCSA rules, but they can benefit greatly. If you want to see steady growth in your business, the data received through these small devices can be a real game changer. The bottom line is increasing revenues and profits by working judiciously and lawfully, and ELD devices are perfect for this purpose. Fleet owners and managers now have a device that can help them enjoy work more.