Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are designed to improve driver accountability. For drivers working within Hours of Service (HOS) compliance, having a record of their time driving increases transparency for the entire fleet. Yet, some commercial truck drivers have been hesitant to adopt ELDs despite their inherent benefits.
ELDs can assist carriers and commercial truck drivers in significant ways. Once drivers switch to electronic logbooks from paper ones, they see these benefits and would never consider switching back to analog from digital.
In this article, we will outline why ELDs are important, explain the evolving compliance landscape, outline how to find the best ELD, and go over Azuga’s industry-leading ELD offerings.
Why ELDs are Important
ELDs offer a myriad of benefits to drivers, fleet managers and carries in addition to complying with regulations.
ELDs are Efficient
Truck drivers who use ELDs can spend more time on the road—and earn more money—than drivers who use paper logs. According to the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers spend over 20 hours a year on administrative work, including filling out paper driver logs and sending off HOS files.
It is estimated that ELDs reduce HOS paperwork time by an average of 15 minutes per day. This is a huge efficiency for truck drivers. Plus, ELDs are more accurate than paper logs. With paper logs, drivers round up to the closest 15 minutes for stops while ELDs round to the nearest minute.
On top of all this, ELDs can also reduce the amount of time spent on “busywork” like check-in calls and handing off hours records to dispatch.
ELDs Speed Up Inspections
Electronic logging devices get drivers back on the road faster by allowing for quicker inspections. The information collected by ELDs is clear and organized for an inspection officer to see, which avoids time spent searching handwritten paper logs.
ELDs Warn Drivers of Potential Violations
ELDs issue warnings to truck drivers when time-sensitive events are upcoming. For example, before receiving a violation for missing a required break, an ELD will issue a warning signal—an audible alert—that reminds the driver when it is time to pull over.
The Evolving Compliance Landscape
During the 1980s, motor carriers began using ELDs voluntarily to record HOS for their drivers.
In July of 2012, the MAP-21 Act was passed by the United States Congress. It required that the FMCSA create a regulation that would mandate electronic logging devices.
By December of 2015, the first ELD mandate was published.
In February 2016, the ELD mandate officially went into effect. The implementation timeline was divided by the FMCSA into three phases:
Phase One, February 2016-December 2017: Awareness and Transition
During this phase, all methods of logging HOS were permitted, including paper logs and automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) as well as ELDs.
Phase Two, December 2017-December 2019: Phased-In Compliance
In this phase, carriers were required to begin introducing compliance measures. Paper logs and logging software were no longer allowed. Carriers had to either use ELDs or AOBRDs that were installed before December 2017.
Phase Three, Post-December 2019: Full Compliance
Full compliance began during December of 2019. After Dec. 16, all drivers and carriers operating in the United States were required to track HOS utilizing only registered and compliant ELDs.
Finding the Best ELD for Truck Drivers
The most important thing about selecting an ELD is to make sure that it is self-certified according to the requirements of the ELD mandate. It is the carrier’s responsibility to check registration. The FMCSA states that “the motor carrier is responsible for checking that their device is registered.”
Truck drivers and carriers should also check the vendor details when deciding on ELD options. The company you choose for supplying your ELD will also be your business partner. Technical specifications of the device are only as important as the quality of the provider.
When scrutinizing ELD providers, truck drivers should consider their number of years in business, company structure, number of customers and customer references, number of employees and engineers, global ranking, commitment to research and development, solution partners, and security policies.
Azuga's ELD Offerings
Azuga offers two premiere choices for ELDs that will ensure driver’s are kept compliant and efficient, saving hours of time.
Azuga eLogs Electronic Driver Logs
Azuga’s eLogs Electronic Driver Logs have the necessary features to comply with Hours of Service reporting. By automating back-office and driver records and implementing an easy-to-use graphical interface, lots of time and energy are saved. Plus, it comes with an 8-inch tablet that is mounted inside the vehicle and connects to the Azuga OBD-II tracking device. The system also includes full support for co-drivers.
With Azuga, HOS records are automatically captured—eliminating tedious manual entries. Azuga features support for U.S. and Canadian ELD and Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs). In addition to supporting the United States’ federal and state driving rules and exemptions.
Azuga’s eLogs also include a wide range of APIs for integration with other portals. The system is available in multiple languages including English, Spanish, and French. It also supports both Android and iOS operating systems.
Azuga eLogs DVIR
Azuga’s eLogs DVIR creates and manages inspection reports which are compliant with FMCSA 396.11 and FMCSA 396.13 regulations. ELogs DVIR features enhanced DVIRs and introduces customizable pre-trip and post-trip DVIR points on a per-asset or class-of-asset basis.
ELogs DVIR also includes documentation of repairs. Maintenance personnel can utilize the web application to review defects and deficiencies, enter notes, or document repairs. The system supports seamless integration with the Electronic Driver Logs workflows and ensures that drivers record data at the proper times.
So what is ELD for truck drivers? ELDs are federally-mandated devices for truck drivers to record their hours on the road for HOS compliance. Since their three-pronged implementation, ELDs have proved their importance by increasing compliance and efficiency for drivers and carriers. In order to choose the best ELD for their companies, drivers and owners must look for the proper certifications and registrations as well as the best partner for their organizations.
Two of the market’s best ELDs for truck drivers provide a variety of options for carriers. Azuga’s eLogs Electronic Driver Logs will keep drivers compliant and increase the efficiency of your fleet. Azuga eLogs DVIR can help truck drivers get through inspections smoothly. To learn more about the industry-leading company behind the technology, go to https://www.azuga.com/.