Electronic logbooks (eLogs) record a breadth of information on a fleet vehicle and its driver.
eLogs are mandated by law for some drivers of commercial vehicles in the United States and beyond. eLogs can help fleet managers and business owners increase their productivity and profitability while reducing their costs.
In this article, we will outline what electronic logbooks are and the types of data they record. In addition, we will examine who is legally required to keep eLogs, describe the laws that regulate them, and analyze the benefits of keeping organized electronic logbooks.
Electronic logbooks—also known as eLogs—are used to record data on fleet vehicles and their drivers. They keep a digital record of a vehicle’s operations and its driver’s activities.
Most drivers in the United States and Canada are legally required to record their hours of service (HOS) data with an electronic logbook. This legislation is intended to help prevent drowsy driving and keep drivers from falling asleep at the wheel.
eLogs capture data on fleet vehicle engine run time and distance. In addition, they generally log the vehicle’s driver’s status. Electronic logbooks can also keep a record of driver safety, maintenance requirements, and fuel consumption.
The device that records an eLog is called an electronic logging device (ELD). They are generally small GPS-enabled systems mounted inside of a truck’s cab and are connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic port to capture data on the vehicle’s engine.
eLogs collect a multitude of data points. Some of the information collected may include:
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA), motor carriers in the United States that are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) are also required to keep electronic logbooks. This rule also applies to drivers from Canada and Mexico who are working in the U.S.
However, there are exceptions. Drivers who meet the following conditions are not required to keep eLogs:
ELDs and electronic logbooks have been around since the mid-1980s. However, they weren’t mandated by law until over 30 years later.
In July of 2012, the United States Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (also known as MAP-21) Act. This act pushed the FMCSA to create a rule mandating the use of ELDs.
The final ELD mandate was published in December of 2015 and includes guidance regarding which ELD features are required on compliant devices and how to track HOS using them. There are also provisions that protect drivers from being harassed by their employers.
December 2017 was the deadline for fleets to implement ELDs. However, fleets that were already using automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) before December 2017 could use them up until December 2019.
Today, we are in the full compliance phase, which began on December 16, 2019. This means that all carriers and drivers in the U.S. are currently required to track HOS using ELDs and eLogs.
Electronic logbooks can save time, increase productivity, and reduce overall costs for fleet managers. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of elogs:
Using eLogs allows drivers to focus on doing what they do best—driving. ELDs automatically capture data on HOS that the vehicle’s driver would otherwise have to manually record, meaning drivers spend less time dealing with tedious paperwork.
Using a digital instrument to record data instead of a human mitigates error, providing more accurate data records. This further saves time that would otherwise be spent finding and correcting these mistakes.
eLogs also help speed things up for drivers at inspection points. Data can be clearly displayed for Department of Transportation officials to inspect when using electronic logbooks. Transferring eLog data electronically—if required—is quick and easy.
Electronic logbooks can help fleets increase their Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores.
eLogs assist drivers in reducing HOS violations, such as driving too many hours. Commercial drivers are also often fined for outdated log violations and form & manner violations. Both of these issues are eliminated with eLogs as they record accurately and consistently.
Avoiding all of these HOS violations can help fleets to improve their CSA score.
Improves Maintenance Scheduling
eLog vehicle data can help managers streamline maintenance and repair efforts. Electronic logbook data includes detailed information on a vehicle’s engine as well as diagnostics and fault codes. Managers can use this information to make more informed decisions when it comes to maintenance scheduling.
Electronic logbooks are mandated by law in many parts of the world. If you are a commercial carrier in the United States—or even a carrier domiciled in Mexico or Canada who is passing through the states—it is more likely than not that your vehicle is required by law to be equipped with an ELD.
Fortunately, eLogs offer many benefits to fleet managers and their teams. Drivers get rid of cumbersome paperwork tasks, have an easier inspection process, and keep more accurate records. Bottom line: eLogs record clear and accurate data on HOS compliance that can help fleets boost their productivity and reduce their costs.
Dispatch software is a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your dispatch process and keeping operations streamlined. It offers a variety of features that make daily procedures so much easier, from fleet tracking to reports that help businesses make decisions. What features does dispatch software offer, and how do these features benefit fleets? We will break this down for you.
It is easy to assign and monitor jobs with dispatch software because it uses fleet tracking. Fleet tracking allows you to assign jobs to crews in the field. If you need a lead technician for a job, it’s simple to attach that lead tech to any job you need. You can even sort jobs based on their status, whether they’re one-time, recurring, or multi-day, or based on urgency.
When workers finish jobs, they can mark the job as complete on their end. This way, you can know when each job concludes and when your technician moves on to their next task.
Back and forth calls between technicians and managers are no longer a problem. With dispatch software, you simply input the job you want your technicians to address. Your technicians access it from their phones and know what to do from there. When they’re done, they can mark it complete and view their next job right away. They can track their time, update their schedules, and input notes all while on the go. Everything you need to know will be on your screen when you need to know it, no need to track the information down.
Dispatch software can improve your business’s customer service reputation in a variety of ways. Firstly, GPS tracking allows for route optimization software, which gets your technicians to their destinations quickly and efficiently. No more late technicians making your customers wait. Furthermore, dispatch software allows you to assign technicians to customers they already know, building an improved relationship with your business. And with all of your customer information in one place, it’s easy to respond to disputes and issues in a timely and personal manner.
All of your client and order information is available in a field service CRM that details everything you need to know about your customers and the jobs you’ve done for them.
Azuga offers state-of-the-art dispatch software that your business is sure to benefit from every single day. These benefits will improve your fleet’s daily operations, boost customer service, and maximize productivity among your workers. These features and more bring your fleet to its maximum potential, allowing you to focus on making important decisions to help the business grow and thrive. Find out everything you can do with dispatch software by trying out a free demo today. You’re certain to be impressed with the improvements.
A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety.
The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption.
Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information.
There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel.
If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!
If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business.
Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.
A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team.
A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.
Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums.
Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field.
Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!