The trucking industry is ever-evolving and constantly driving forward with new technologies in tow. This upcoming December, the entire industry will take yet another step forward by way of fleet GPS tracking devices. Beginning on December 18, 2017, all freight truck operators will be required to begin using electronic logging devices (ELDs), instead of paper logs, to keep track of records.
For many trucking companies, this is nothing new. The mandate was made official in 2015, with a 2-year compliance window for freight companies and drivers. Those 2 years have gone by quickly, though! And while many have adopted the new ELD standard, some are still working to get themselves up to the new standard.
Why ELDs instead of paper logs?
The world is a digital place these days, which means paper isn’t always compatible. This is exactly the case for ELDs instead of paper logs. With an ELD, run data can quickly be exported and cataloged from an individual driver’s log, and compiled as a whole. This enables better tracking to ensure driver compliance with regulations and proper procedure for long haul trucking.
ELDs also make tracking easier on drivers. Any trucker worth his salt knows that paperwork is half the job. Rather than having to log tons of manual data, the ELD does most of the work for them. There’s about $1 billion at stake in switching to a digital logging format. It’s estimated this is how much money will be saved on time spent doing physical paperwork!
How does GPS play a role?
ELDs and GPS go hand in hand, chiefly in the role that positioning plays in logging driver data. For example, ELDs will automatically record things like date and time, engine hours and driver ID information. However, these things all need to be supported by location tracking and route data. The devices sync together and with other electronics (like the truck’s onboard computer) to provide the complete picture required for proper driver logging.
Who needs an ELD?
Just about everyone in the trucking industry needs to consider updating their rig with an ELD. That being said, there are a few exceptions—such as drivers of trucks made before the year 2000. Take a look at what the mandate has to say about specifications for drivers and their vehicles:
“All drivers are required to keep records of duty status, except drivers who (1) keep records of duty status in 8 or fewer days out of every 30 working days, (2) drivers in drive-away and tow-away operations and (3) truckers operating vehicles older than model year 2000.”
Unless you fall into one of the exemptions listed above, it’s time to start thinking about upgrading your truck to include an ELD and a relevant fleet GPS tracking device. December may be a few months away, but it’s better to get used to logging via ELD now, rather than having to make a major changeover at the end of the year. For more information, reach out to the experts at GPS Technologies today.