Construction contractors pay a lot of attention to the management of the heavy equipment fleet for, they take into consideration that a productive fleet is very important for garnering benefits. However, it is also important for construction contractors to the fleet of commercial vehicles that are equally important for a construction operation. It includes haul trucks, fuel trucks, maintenance trucks, trucks, etc which are used for the transportation of equipment. In the US, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, abbreviated as FMCSA, has made it a compulsory action to be taken for most of the heavy-duty commercial vehicles that are over 10,000 lbs, to install ELDs or Electronic Logging Devices.

Mandatory Federal Law by the DOT

The Department of Transportation has recently framed a new legislation that states that it is mandatory that all driving hours should be recorded electronically on an ELD. The use of paper logbooks for maintaining the driving hours are to be extradited from the daily tasks, and the use of ELD should be made mandatory.

About Electronic Logging Device or ELD

Also known as E-Log, an ELD is an electronic hardware attached to a commercial motor vehicle engine, used for recording driving hours. Hours of service or HOS is a set of rules and regulations, that controls and administers the driving hours of commercial drivers (trucks and bus drivers). This is where an ELD comes into action, as it monitors a vehicle’s engine to capture the data on whether the engine is running and if the vehicle is running. It also monitors and calculates the miles driven by the driver and the duration of the engine being operated in the vehicle.

Before ELD, the driving hours was recorded on paper logs or EOBR that is electronic onboard recorders, used for hours of service or HOS tracking. The EOBR accurately tracks data, however, the lack of a consistent data format which meant that the logs needed to be redone to a paper format for review and implementation. Whereas, the eld devices reviews are accurate and don’t need to be redone.

Advantages of ELD:

  1. Mileage – Motor carriers operating in more than one jurisdiction, mandatorily need to file a quarterly fuel tax report. The report should detail the fuel use in each state as per the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). The ELD system installed on the said vehicles enables the accurate data capturing of the hours of service and vehicle use. ELD automatically makes reports and saving a driver and the back office of the administration a lot of time.
  2. Safety of a driver – An ELD used in a heavy-duty commercial vehicle is capable of recording the driver’s behaviour, like harsh maneuvers, speeding, driving idly, misusing the vehicle, etc. Hence, the ELD helps monitor the driving trend of drivers which in turn encourages good driving habits. This is how it increases the safety of a driver.
  3. Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR) – It is a mandate by the FMCSA for drivers to record the roadworthiness before each of the trips they make. It requires a driver to go through a check-list of inspection points like the windscreen, tires, etc. The ELD allows a driver to perform the inspection checklist through the in-cab tablet. It ensures that nothing is missed and the data is then uploaded to the cloud.
  4. Fuel efficiency – Fuel is of a big concern in every part of the world. It is the biggest cost a fleet incurs. The use of an ELD on such vehicles help monitors the driver behaviours and their idle times. The ELD identifies the trends in the usage of fuel. This encourages drivers to use fuel efficiently without incurring an excess loss.
  5. Diagnostic of a vehicle – ELD offers real-time reporting on fuel, odometer, carbon and the fault codes of a vehicle. It allows the organization to be proactive and allows it to set up maintenance plans and help to avoid expensive downtime dues to unforeseen problems faced by the vehicle.

Therefore, the use of an ELD system goes far behind just the legislation of the fleet. It offers more than what we expect from it. the best part is an ELD system often pays for itself by reducing the usage and aides to safer trips. More detailed information can be found in and be used as a reference.