Trucking is an industry that is constantly evolving with new technology. There is much talk about autonomous trucks, which can increase efficiency and safety, but other technologies are already impacting the industry.
One such technology is ELDs, which are revolutionizing the industry in many ways. Read on to learn how they are making trucking more efficient and flexible.
ELDs help trucks run more efficiently by eliminating manual paperwork, ensuring compliance, and increasing productivity. With real-time data reports, drivers and dispatchers have better visibility into fuel usage, maintenance plans, and more. Additionally, truckers can build customer trust with reliable, on-time delivery rates and reduced spoilage costs.
Also known as E-Logs, EOBRs, and AOBRDs, electronic logging devices are a mandated piece of equipment in the US for commercial trucks to record their Hours of Service (HOS). They can detect engine power, vehicle motion status, identification information, driver duty status, and driving activity to automatically update HOS logs, saving drivers from having to fill out paper documents manually. In addition, advanced features like accelerometers and gyroscopes can identify trigger events such as harsh braking and hard turning that can be used to coach drivers on safe driving habits. This reduces the risk of a costly federal audit, reducing operational costs and fines for fleets. It can also speed up roadside inspections, helping drivers spend less time on paperwork and more time on the road.
ELDs enable trucking companies to quickly access a range of data, including load information and driver hours, and to make better fleet management and freight matching decisions. That, in turn, helps increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.
In addition, most ELDs feature a gyroscope and accelerometer that can detect vehicle motion events such as harsh braking and hard turning. This can alert drivers to drowsiness or provide data for crash reconstruction.
In addition, most advanced ELDs double as FMCSA-compliant electronic log books and allow drivers to request breaks without using a phone or leaving the vehicle. Some also include proximity sensors that can monitor and log environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, tilt, shock, or even if cargo has been damaged. That can be particularly important for shippers transporting produce, pharmaceuticals, or sensitive electronics. By logging this information, trucking companies can ensure that their goods arrive at their destination safely and intact.
ELDs allow truckers to change their driving schedules and routes based on real-time data. This allows them to optimize their workload and meet client demands more efficiently.
Before ELDs, truckers had to fill out paper logs detailing their service hours manually. These were prone to errors and inaccuracies, but with ELDs, the process is automated, which makes it more reliable.
Additionally, many ELDs come with additional features like GPS and support for fuel taxes (IFTA), which helps reduce fleet costs and increase productivity. Plus, they can also help drivers avoid penalties and hefty fines.
There are two types of ELDs: hard-wired and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). The former is installed into the truck’s electronic system. It requires professional installation, while the latter uses an app that connects to a driver’s smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, wi-fi, or USB. The best choice depends on your budget and what features you need. For example, hard-wired ELDs are more expensive but offer more functionality, such as engine diagnostics and integrated fleet management software.
ELDs allow truckers to save time on paperwork, reducing the cost of compliance with government regulations. They also reduce the costs of fuel, maintenance, and customer service, allowing companies to make more profit on each load.
Before ELDs, drivers had to manually keep track of their service hours in a log book. This was a labor-intensive and error-prone process, but ELDs simplify this task by automating it. They also give dispatchers real-time visibility into driver availability, reducing scheduling delays.
Although some truckers are reluctant to adapt to the ELD mandate, it is necessary for the safety of both drivers and customers. Moreover, the benefits of technology are too many to pay attention to. Adapting to government regulations like this is critical for any business, regardless of size. Trucking companies must use the technology available to improve their bottom line and ensure their customers receive their deliveries quickly. For example, trucking businesses can benefit from GPS tracking and predictive maintenance systems. Read more interesting articles on Tech new master