Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Violation

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An electronic logging device (ELD) is a solution for commercial drivers that collects data about hours of service (HoS) from commercial motor vehicles. ELDs are now mandatory for most commercial drivers who operate in the US. These automated devices record data about the vehicle and driver, including engine health, HoS, vehicle location and movement, and the number of miles driven within a given period. 

ELDs offer a host of benefits to drivers and field service-based companies. These benefits include increased commercial driver safety, simplification of the HoS and records of duty status (RODS) data collection process, and the reduction of physical paperwork for fleet managers, drivers, and technicians.

When ELDs are not used properly, either intentionally or in error, the driver may face violations and fines. Additionally, violations will affect compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) scores for the entire fleet. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons this might happen and how to avoid such violations.

MAP-21, the ELD Mandate, and the Violations You Should Know About

Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act in 2012. The ELD mandate that was a part of this act went into full effect on December 16, 2019, making it mandatory for every commercial motor vehicle operator to monitor and maintain their HoS and RODS with an ELD. 

With this ELD law now in place, a list of violations and their descriptions became publicly available to all fleet managers and drivers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) with "soft enforcement" through April of 2018. Now that soft enforcement has ended, all fleet vehicle operators must know these violations and their severity levels. 

Some of the most common violations to know about and understand include:

  • 395.8A: No record of duty status when an ELD is required 
  • 395.8A1: Failing to use the appropriate method(s) for recording HoS 
  • 395.11G Inability to provide supporting paperwork or documentation as possessed by the driver when requested by law enforcement 
  • 395.22A: Operating a registered motor vehicle using an ELD that has not been registered with the FMSCA 
  • 395.24C1I: Motor vehicle operator fails to make appropriate annotations when and where applicable 
  • 395.24C1II: Commercial vehicle operator fails to manually add location descriptions 
  • 395.34A1: Commercial motor vehicle operator fails to note ELD or other malfunction that requires the use of paper rather than eLogs

For a more complete list, see What You Need to Know About ELD Violation Fines.

Because of ELD requirements, each of these violations is assigned a different severity level as determined by the FMSCA. Severity levels have a number value ranging between one and five points per violation. These points are weighed against the commercial driver's license when they are ticketed with any one of these violations. They are also factored into the company’s CSA score. It is critically important to understand ELD violations to avoid making these errors and being caught by law enforcement.

The Potential Impact of an ELD Mandate Fine on Your Field Service Business and Its Drivers 

It's important to understand that non-compliance with the ELD mandate (and accruing fines associated with the violations above) will impact your CSA score. Scores of this nature are like golf scores — the lower, the better, with 100 being the worst. 

Notably, your customers may review your CSA score to determine whether they want to conduct business with you. But if that is not enough to encourage you to maintain compliance and a low CSA score, the fines associated with CSA violations probably will. Some of the penalties associated with non-compliance include:

  • Knowingly falsifying ELD (or eLog) records: $1,214 per day up to $12,135 
  • Errors in ELD reporting and HoS recording via ELD: $1,045 to $7,864 
  • ELD violation fines for operators of buses, trains, and passenger-carrying vehicles: up to $26,126 
  • ELD violations associated with hazardous materials violations: up to 182,877 

With all of this said, the average ELD fine associated with improperly logging HoS is about $2,867. Clearly, the cost of CSA violations can add up for any field service-based business — and these do not even include the fines you can incur for Department of Transportation (DOT) fines.

What Your Field Service Business Can Do to Avoid ELD Fines 

To avoid CSA fines and other fines associated with improper use of (or lack of) ELDs, consider the ELD options from Azuga. In addition to bringing you state-of-the-art eLogs for your drivers and technicians, Azuga also offers dual-facing dashcams for your fleet vehicles to keep your operators safe on the road. 

When you pair eLogs and dashcams with our comprehensive field service management software, you'll have total visibility into your fleet. You’ll know what is happening with every one of your drivers at any point in the day as needed, including their exact location, pinpointed with GPS fleet tracking.

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Multi-Drop Route Planning

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. 

How Does Multi-Drop Route Planning Work? 

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. 

Benefits of Multi-Drop Route Planning

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. 

Where to Get Multi-Drop Route Planning Software

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!

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Fleet Dispatching

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. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

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.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

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 Dispatch Software from Azuga

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!

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Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

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