How Can Fleet Management Help With ELD Compliance?

September 25, 2018 Published by
How Can Fleet Management Help With ELD Compliance

With all the changes in the delivery and trucking industries, if you run a small trucking or delivery service, you know there’s a lot to keep up with when it comes to logistics. If you’re trying to manage everything using pen and paper, or even spreadsheets on your computer, you’ve probably had those moments where you could tear your hair out or had a 4-Advil headache. But change is not just hard; it’s also expensive. Moreover, when it comes to fleet management and GPS fleet tracking, you might have decided that doing things the old-fashioned way, no matter how stressful is the only way you can understand or afford. However, GPS fleet management and other fleet management tools might be able to help you become more ELD compliant.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate went into full effect on December 18, 2017, and became enforceable on April 1, 2018. In July 2018, the FMCSA denied a petition from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) for exemption from the ELD mandate for small carriers with clean safety records. Unless Congress acts soon to pass the bipartisan Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act, it would be foolish not to comply with the mandate and continue using handwritten logs and ledgers to manage your fleet, even if your “fleet” is just one or two trucks.

What is Fleet Management?

But first, what do people mean when they talk about fleet management? You might think of it as knowing where your vehicles are and what they’re carrying as well as who is driving each one. But there’s more to it than that. We could write an entire book on fleet management, but we want to focus more on ELD compliance solutions for owner-operators and small carriers so instead, we’ll break the components of fleet management down into individual areas.

1. Organization and negotiation of the purchase of new trucks or other vehicles and equipment.

2.The monitoring and management of vehicle and truck maintenance.

3. The monitoring and management of fuel usage, fuel programs, and fuel efficiency.

4. Monitor safety and ensure safety compliance, including ELD compliance.

5. Manage and track truck location, cargo location, and assign drivers and/or loads to vehicles.

What is the relationship between GPS Fleet Tracking and fleet management?

GPS fleet tracking and GPS navigation are often confused. However, GPS tracking is an indispensable component of fleet management because it helps in so many of the areas involved in keeping track of your vehicles and equipment that we’ve already mentioned.

Many GPS fleet tracking solutions track things such as:

  • Idle time
  • Speed
  • Time moving
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Vehicle location
  • Vehicle mileage
  • Routes taken

Plus many GPS fleet tracking solutions allow add-ons like messaging and even integration with Electronic logging systems that are compliant with the ELD mandate.

Challenges to ELD Compliance For Small Carriers

Since the FMCSA’s ELD mandate went into effect and is now being actively enforced, many small carriers and owner-operators have had a tough time finding a cost-effective and reliable ELD solution or application. According to the publication, SupplyChainDive, small business owner, Gary Harrison says he’s had only problems finding the right system for his fleet of just two trucks. He’s tried at least three different systems, and one provider wouldn’t give him a refund when their company closed. Unfortunately, his situation is all too common when it comes to small carriers.

The FMCSA’s mandate doesn’t include specific criteria for ELD solution providers and allows these providers to self-certify that their systems will ensure carriers comply with all regulations. That puts an undue burden on owner-operators and small businesses in the trucking industry to spend money trying different ELD systems until they find one that works. As we already mentioned earlier, the OOIDA filed a 5-year exemption request with the FMCSA that was rejected and Congress is considering an act that will make carriers with 10 or fewer trucks exempt from the mandate. However, what can a small business or independent truck driver do in the meantime?

Some of the problems come from the fact that many small trucking or delivery companies haven’t felt the need to use any fleet management or GPS fleet tracking tools.  Now they’re faced with the daunting task of finding an ELD provider with little information other than a list of self-certified ELD providers from the FMCSA. Furthermore, the FMCSA provides companies with no information about third-party GPS and fleet management companies who might have a budget-friendly and more affordable solution to both their GPS fleet tracking and E-logging compliance needs.

Affordable ELD and GPS Fleet Management Option For Small Carriers and Owner-Operators

The fact that fleets and fleet management companies, as well as small companies and owner-operators, might be able to integrate an ELD compliance application with an existing system is good news.

There are systems, including those that use cloud-based solutions that integrate with affordable GPS fleet tracking and fleet management systems as well as navigation devices like those made by Garmin. That’s because the ELD company has an open-source platform that allows and invites other company to create and integrate ELD solutions with their existing fleet tracking solutions.

Here at GPS Technologies, we have both GPS tracking systems and an ELD compliance tracking application, so even small businesses and independent drivers can find a budget-friendly solution that will help ease your transition from paper logs to electronic logging and more efficient fleet management. Have questions? Contact us today, and we’ll help you find the right GPS and ELD solution for your business.

 

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