For months now, American truck drivers have been hearing business, political, and even safety-based arguments for and against Electronic Logging Devices. With just weeks before the federal law mandating that an estimated 3.1 million of the nation’s truck drivers must utilize the technology in their trucks, it’s a good time to list and explain the benefits of an ELD.
Truth be told, there are many driver benefits that will come from rolling with an ELD on board. Here are seven:
- Arriving home safely. The safety argument has been told, but it’s a major benefit tied to ELDs. Drowsy driving is a large contributor to trucking accidents. Since one of the primary reasons behind the ELD Mandate is to help drivers achieve regular sleep habits, the technology will aid the reduction of drowsy driving. That will also reduce the number of fender benders, vehicle damages, liability claims, traffic tickets, and other costly events from occurring.
- More money earned. The most obvious economic benefit of ELDs will be a noticeable reduction in duty time spent filling out forms, filing reports, and tracking down obscure bits of data in a paper log book. This will not only cut the amount of time drivers spend on paperwork, it’ll allow drivers to use that time to actually drive more each pay period. That translates into more payable miles driven, more hours on the clock, and more money earned. And, if a carrier pays incentives for excellent performance, an ELD will quickly become a driver’s incontrovertible advocate on how to improve performance enough to snag those bonuses.
- Fast inspections. Getting pulled over or be required to pass through an inspection point is a royal pain. With ELDs, drivers will dramatically cut down the amount of actual inspection time. That should also cut down on frustrations and stress levels — a common outcome of inspections.
- Skills development. An ELD can increase a driver’s skills, since a good ELD system not only tracks time behind the wheel, but also other driving performance factors. The data it contains can be useful in helping drivers maintain and improve their driving skills. Not only does that make them a better performer, it’s something that they can utilize when looking for a job with a new carrier.
- Legal protection. If a driver gets involved in an accident, or if another motorist files a complaint against your truck, an ELD may quickly become your best friend. If your driver is not at fault, or no guilt of whatever is alleged, a high quality ELD that includes functions beyond mere Hours of Service tracking may contain the kind of indisputable proof that will keep your record clean, job secure, and career on track. If used correctly, it also reduces the potential of those form and manner violations and missing log books that create 10 hours of Out of Service.
- Fun and relaxation. Don’t laugh! Since many ELDs are based on tablet or smartphone technology, that equipment doubles as a primary source of news, information, and entertainment. These days that can mean streaming a favorite TV show or movie, listening to music, or reading a book. Even better, drivers can Facetime or Skype with loved ones or friends to stay better connected. Omnitracs recently partnered with Samsung and Honeywell to make these mobile ELDs more accessible.
- Peace and quiet. If your driver believes that the best thing to hear from the office is nothing, then a good ELD that includes systems allowing trucks to communicate with a dispatcher, fleet manager, or client without actually having to speak to them on the phone or radio more than once a day. And, if drivers like talking to coworkers, they always have the option of calling them to chat about the info their ELD has already has sent them or received from them.
Some transportation companies have been reaping the benefits of ELDs for years. Come 2018, the majority of the industry will begin experiencing the same positive outcomes and profit through the technology innovation.