Getting Ready for ELD Mandate
3 Tips to Help You Prepare for the ELD Mandate

In less than four months, the ELD mandate will be implemented.

The closer the implementation date gets, the more talks there are on the internet about how “scary” the times are for the trucking industry. For the most part, this disturbance stems from the fact that several carriers have yet to take any action and install electronic logging devices.

With how severe the possible consequences are for noncompliance, those who are nowhere near transitioning can’t help but feel anxious about the mandate’s implementation date.

The good news, however, is the process of transitioning to ELDs is pretty straightforward.

It is a lot simpler than others make it out to be.

In this blog post, we share with you three things that you can do start preparing for the ELD mandate’s implementation date. Consider the following as three tips for a smooth ELD transition process.

1. Start Searching for an ELD Provider Immediately

If you want to find an ELD solution that perfectly fits the requirements of your fleet, then you need to be active and start searching for a reliable ELD provider immediately.

All it takes is for you to reach out to the ELD providers and ask about what their product features are.

If you aren’t quite sure how to choose the right ELD manufacturer, then consider the following guidelines:

  • Do they have good online reviews?

Reviews are great since they give you an idea of the experience of other users like you, while using the device of your prospective ELD provider.

If other users aren’t happy with the service and support of an ELD provider, then chances are good that you won’t be happy with them either.

  • Are they registered with the FMCSA?

Another important point that you must consider is whether your favorite ELD vendor is selling FMCSA-certified ELDs or not.

The agency’s guidelines mention that an ELD solution must meet the mandate’s technical requirements and specifications to be included in the FMCSA’s list of certified ELDs.

In other words, if an ELD solution isn’t listed in the FMCSA’s list of certified ELDs, it won’t guarantee compliance. As a result, fleets can buy ELDs and still remain noncompliant after the December 18, 2017, deadline.

  • Do they have an excellent customer support team?

The effects of a malfunctioning ELD can be catastrophic for any fleet after the compliance deadline. Depending on whether or not your driver knows what to do when they’re faced with a malfunctioning ELD, your operations might be put on hold.

This is why technical customer support becomes such a vital part.

Technical support staff must be easily accessible by your fleet managers and drivers. If you can quickly reach out to them and learn what to do next (in the case of any ELD-related problem), it can save you from being noncompliant.

  • Does your favorite ELD solution have the necessary features?

To make the most out of your device, you want to choose an ELD solution that has lots of important fleet-management features.

With the right ELD features and fleet management tools, you can streamline operations, automate tasks, reduce administrative burdens, and minimize the cost of operations.

2. Communicate and Arrange Driver Training Sessions

Some industry experts are worried because a good number of truckers have yet to transition to ELDs.

Despite truckers being aware of the FMCSA’s stand towards not extending the implementation deadline, others have yet to take a single step towards the transition.

In fact, Collin Mooney, the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, shared his opinion on the matter:

At this point in time there’s no grace period.…Everyone’s known this was coming for quite a while, and if drivers choose to ignore the situation or refuse to buy the required equipment, that’s their choice.”

For the most part, a common theme that comes up on industry forums about ELDs shows that truck drivers aren’t happy with ELD implementation.

When you think about how many benefits drivers can enjoy from using ELDs, one can’t help but wonder why there is such a big disconnect. Once the ELD mandate is implemented, drivers won’t have to face coercion or harassment anymore. There will also be fewer penalties and liabilities to deal with. It is also estimated that drivers will be able to earn more with ELDs than paper logs.

If drivers stand to gain a lot from using ELDs, why are they upset with the ELD implementation. As you can probably imagine, the gap lies on the dissemination of information.

Because drivers aren’t always getting the correct information and the benefits of ELDs for drivers, misconceptions can be formed. It is your job to address that communication gap through seminars, educational programs, and training sessions.

Carriers can run several training programs for their drivers on how ELDs can make their lives more convenient, what their drivers’ rights are, or how easy it is to operate ELDs.

Another avenue that carriers can use to educate their drivers about the ELD rule is to have them attend the ELD National Tour that was recently introduced by the FMCSA.

One of the main objectives of the program is to educate drivers about what the updated parameters and responsibilities of the new ELD mandate are all about.

If you have drivers who haven’t participated in any of the FMCSA’s events as of yet, then here’s a list of the agency’s upcoming tour dates:

  • August 24-26, 2017 — Great American Trucking Show (Dallas, Texas)
  • September 25-27, 2017 — North American Commercial Vehicle Show (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • October 14-15, 2017 — California Trucking Show (Ontario, California)
  • October 21-24, 2017 — American Trucking Association’s Management Conference and Exhibition (Orlando, Florida)
  • November 6-8, 2017 — Women in Trucking Accelerate! Conference and Expo (Kansas City, Missouri)

3. Include Your Drivers in the ELD Selection Process

One of the best routes you can take to figure out which ELD your drivers are going to be very comfortable with is to have them test-run several ELDs (from multiple providers).

The good news is, several ELD manufacturers offer free logbook apps or free demos.

Once your driver has gone through several products, they’d be able to determine which logbook app or ELD solution works best for them.

Another unintended benefit of having your drivers join the selection process is that they’ll feel valued.

That bit is important because it helps you build a good relationship with your drivers.

Once your relationship with them is established, their chances of staying with your company drastically increase — which means you’ll have better driver retention rates. Considering how there’s a driver shortage in the country, you’ll be in a far better shape trying to keep your drivers than having to look for new drivers to hire.

What’s Next?

Is your transition to ELDs going smoothly?

Considering how the ELD rule’s implementation date is fast approaching, the sooner you can find an ELD provider that suits your needs, the better it is.

Find the most cost-effective and feature-rich ELD solution with our ELD price comparison tool and our ELD features comparison tool.

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