ELDs are getting its fair share of praise from the trucking industry. While there were oppositions in the past, the number of people who loathe the idea of using ELDs are drastically decreasing as more information is disseminated about it.
The more people understand what ELDs are and the kind of benefits it brings to the trucking company, the fleet managers, the truck drivers and even the shippers, the more they become receptive to the idea of using it.
Today, we will focus on the benefits that truck drivers can get from using electronic logging devices.
1. More driving time. More miles. More money.
While some drivers are paid hourly, there are those who are paid by the mile/load. The latter can benefit greatly when they have ELDs installed because they can focus on driving and racking up more miles, instead of having to fill out truckloads of paper logs and other clerical related work.
Other surveys even reveal how drivers spend over twenty hours in a year’s time just filling out their paper logs. When you think about converting these unpaid hours into the number of miles drivers would have gained from driving instead of filling out paper forms, you can imagine how much higher an average truck driver’s paycheck would have been.
In cases when a vehicle has maintenance issues (like tire problems), ELDs can detect and alert fleet managers and drivers about it. Once fleet managers get the alert, they can start preparing the necessary parts for replacements to make sure that trucks are repaired immediately the moment it reaches the home office.
It means that drivers won’t be held up due to a broken truck. When they reach the home office, broken vehicles gets repaired immediately (since the parts are prepared hours ago). As a result, they can get back on the road in minutes.
Here’s the flip side of the coin: The driver reaches the home office, realizes just then and there that the vehicle has maintenance problems and informs the fleet manager about it. They then discover that they don’t have the parts necessary to fix the truck and would have to take hours (sometimes days) to get the parts prepared.
During the entire time they’re searching for the parts to repair the vehicle, the truck driver is held up while unpaid.
2. Prevent harassment from carriers and shippers
ELDs can keep carriers and shippers from harassing truck drivers to work way beyond their hours of service limits.
The ELD rule has provisions that would enforce this.
These are some of the provisions:
- The ELD has anti-tampering provisions.
- It also provides drivers a system to press written complaints.
- Carriers cannot edit ELD records without the driver’s certification.
With the provisions in place, carriers and shippers are encouraged to maximize drivers’ time instead of coercing them to drive beyond their service limits.
3. Get rid of Form & Manner violations
Form and Manner errors are one of the easiest violations to spot. That’s why inspectors love to pick on them.
Considering how the driver’s focus is on the road, the chances of them forgetting some documents or making small mistakes when filling out their paper log is highly likely.
The ELDs can help prevent Form & Manner violations as the truck drivers won’t have to write the reports manually.
That said, not only will the inspectors see a report that’s neat and clean, but the reports would also be accurate and complete.
4. Speedier road inspections.
Just by pressing the DVIR button (Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports), the driver can generate a compliant vehicle report that they can show to road inspectors in seconds.
This means that they won’t have to spend countless minutes to put together and give to inspectors the report that they need.
What’s more, since the report is generated electronically, the inspector won’t ever have to complain about poor handwriting (among other things) that can end up prolonging the inspection.
5. Easier to prove that drivers are not to blame in cases of road accidents.
This is one of the best ELD benefits for drivers.
Because ELDs can show detailed insights about the vehicle’s movements before, after, and during road crashes, carriers and truck drivers can prove their innocence when lawsuits are made against them where the other vehicle is at fault.
This means that carrier and truck drivers can avoid liabilities. Considering how expensive these liabilities can be, it pays to put whatever systems in place to keep the company (especially the drivers) from having to pay them.
Also, it becomes a lot easier to influence the court to decide in favor of the driver if they can see the driver’s clean track record in the company. After all, if a truck driver barely has any violations while the other motorist in question has truckloads of it, then the court can use the insight to have a better understanding of the scenario that they are reviewing.
6. Pay raise, get bonuses or gain incentives.
When owners look for truck drivers to award incentives based on their performances, ELDs can tell them who the right man is.
As ELDs can give fleet managers and owners valuable insights on drivers’ driving habits, their idle time, the efficiency of their fuel consumption, and the violations they’ve been slapped, they’d be able to tell who is driving more responsibly and more efficiently.
This can lead to drivers getting an increase or much-deserved bonuses.
7. Safer highways
Having a fatigued and drowsy driver on the road can prove to be catastrophic, not just for the carrier or the general public, but also for truck drivers themselves (and their families). That is why having an ELD installed in trucks is important since it can keep drivers from driving while fatigued.
Because ELDs will help keep drivers from exceeding their hours of service limits, that means they won’t be overworked. That means their physical well-being is in good shape while they are on the road.
Also, because ELDs will alert drivers and fleet managers for fault codes the moment the device detects one, drivers are kept safe from accidents brought about by tire or brake problems.
8. Lesser HOS violations.
ELDs will send truck drivers an audible warning when they’re nearing an HOS violation. This allows them to pull over in safer areas while they still can.
Another thing to emphasize is how drivers won’t have to get HOS violations due to them forgetting to update their logs. The fact is, some drivers who received HOS violations have not really exceeded their hours of service limits, they merely forgot to update their paper logs so it seems as if they’ve overextended their driving hours.
Because ELDs will automatically track a vehicle’s driving time, drivers won’t have to manually log their hours — the ELD does that for them.
9. A lot less stressful life for drivers
Because drivers won’t have to worry about things like filling out paper logs, making or getting countless phone calls to (or from) the dispatchers for follow ups, or manually creating reports for the roadside inspectors, their life at work becomes a lot less stressful.
They’d end up spending most of their time driving, which is exactly what they signed up for and love to do.
Also, when a driver is getting reliable audible notification consistently when he’s nearing violations or schedule changes, that means he won’t have to waste his brain power trying to keep mental track of his schedule changes or breaks.
10. Drivers can improve their driving skills.
As mentioned previously, ELDs can monitor the exact movements of a vehicle. It can determine if a vehicle made sudden stops, sharp turns, excessive acceleration, or if the vehicle’s idle time is unreasonably high.
These insights are hard to capture (borderline impossible) if you are a fleet manager because you are not in the truck together with the driver.
With ELDs, however, obtaining these insights is a walk in the park.
Once dispatchers or fleet managers realize that one of their truck drivers has poor driving habits — as evidenced by the data they’ve garnered from the ELD — they can then send that driver appropriate feedback.
Of course, this can easily lead to the driver changing his driving habits for the better. When a driver has remarkable driving habits, not only can it translate to him/her having more money, it can also keep him from getting into road accidents.
11. Increase driver’s productivity.
Through ELD’s mapping solutions, drivers and dispatchers can plot the best route to reach their destinations the quickest possible way.
Not only that, but they’d also be able to determine through the tool if there are roads under construction or which routes have heavy traffic. This can help keep drivers from getting stuck in traffic unnecessarily and be less productive.
12. Quicker backup in cases when drivers need roadside assistance.
In situations when a driver’s vehicle broke down, managers can send immediate assistance to drivers without the help sent making wrong turns or getting lost along the way.
Gone are the days when the dispatchers need to make several phone calls to the truck drivers just to know their exact location, or vice versa.
Through ELD’s GPS feature, fleet managers pinpoint the vehicle’s exact location.
Of course, the sooner the driver get the help he needs to get the vehicle fixed, the sooner he can start driving and pile up more miles.