One of the main issues that carriers bring up when talking about the use of ELDs is the cost of acquiring one. Considering how some fleets have hundreds of trucks under their belt, the concern is nothing but justified.
While a good number of ELD providers and online publishers talk about how ELDs can help trucking companies get better profits or maximize their ROI through ELDs, not many can substantiate or explain clearly how the electronic logging device can do so.
The ROI calculator that you can use below will help clear things up for you.
The calculator will give you an estimated ROI that you can expect based on the details about your company that you will enter in each field.
* Note – While the program will calculate based on several components of a trucking business, two of the main elements it looks into are the fleet’s fuel wastage reduction, and the amount of time a company can save by getting rid of some of their administrative tasks.
More ELD benefits
Now that you have a better picture of the kind of ROI you can expect from integrating the use of ELDs in your trucking business, let’s have a look at the other benefits that you can enjoy from using ELDs.
1. Better CSA score.
ELDs can keep drivers from working past their HOS limits (and getting fined) since the device will send them audible notifications when they’re nearing violations.
Also, since reports are generated electronically, truck drivers won’t have to fill in the paper logs by hand. This means that inspectors will never complain about hard-to-understand handwriting (among other things).
These are just some of the many violations that drivers and carriers can avoid. Of course, the more violations they can avoid, the better their CSA scores become.
2. More customers
As part of their screening process, the shippers look into a carriers’ CSA score to determine if the company is reliable and dependable.
After all, if a carrier has a good CSA score, it just means that they are complying with regulations and they are employing good business practices — all of which are ideal characteristics of any service provider.
3. Driver safety
Since drivers won’t have to work while drowsy (because they are able to stay within their Hours of Service limits), chances of them experiencing road crashes drastically decrease.
Another thing is that ELDs can monitor trucks for fault codes since the device is plugged into the truck’s diagnostic port. When the device detects fault codes (like tire or brake problems), the ELD will notify the driver and the fleet manager immediately. This can prompt drivers to be extra cautious while driving, or pull over if the maintenance problem has reached critical levels.
4. Improved productivity
With the use of ELDs, truck drivers won’t have to fill in the paper logs manually because the ELDs with automatically do it. It means that drivers have more time on the road, instead of spending their hours on clerical tasks.
5. Quicker roadside inspections
When drivers hand out neat, clean, and easy-to-understand electronically-generated reports, the roadside inspectors won’t have to ask the drivers truckloads of questions or clarifications. This means that inspectors won’t have to hold them for long and truck drivers can get back on the road a lot sooner.
6. ELDs help you manage your fleet better
ELDs enable drivers to see the status of each vehicle and its drivers in real-time. This can help them with managing their fleet much more efficiently.
7. Immediate updates to shippers
For trucking companies who do not have an ELD, dispatchers would need to call truck drivers for updates on their location and their ETA when shippers ask for updates about their cargo.
This can be quite a hassle for dispatchers, drivers, and even shippers (if it takes long for the dispatchers to update them). However, with the fleet management system that comes together with the ELD, dispatchers are now able to update carriers on updates, as they can view in real-time the truck’s location through their fleet management dashboard.
This means fewer phone calls to the truck drivers and immediate updates to the shippers.
The average cost of ELDs and additional fees.
Some ELD providers will charge as low as $20 – $30 per month while providing fantastic service. However, there are also those who would charge over $400 for giving the carriers service that’s somewhat comparable to the $20 ELD.
That’s why trucking companies need to give ample amount of time to look for the best ELD provider who can offer them the most value for their money while providing a reasonable (even affordable) price.
It’s also important to note how some ELD providers include additional fees when working with carriers.
These are two of the most common additional fees:
The price for a single vehicle can range from $150 – $400.
The price can range from $49 – $1270.
When you consider both the hardware and the implementation fees, the amount a carrier would have to pay for acquiring the ELDs can quickly skyrocket. That being said, it’s crucial for carriers to ask about any additional fees when asking ELD providers for their services.
Interestingly enough, while some manufacturers charge ginormous fees for implementation and their hardware, there are also a good number of manufacturers who DO NOT charge extra for them. What’s even better news is how these manufacturers are providing exceptional service despite charging very affordable monthly rates and not charging extra for the hardware and implementation.
Another thing that carriers need to look out for is lock-in contracts. Some ELD manufacturers have a lock-in contract of 3 – 5 years. These types of contracts can be very risky for the carriers since they’ll be stuck with the ELD manufacturer for better or for worse. If the ELD manufacturer ends up providing fantastic service and support, then the carriers would be “OK” at that point. However, if the ELD manufacturer’s performance is crappy, then the carriers would have to suffer for years.
Carriers don’t have to make risky decisions like going with ELD manufacturers with lock-in contracts. There are several ELD manufactures who don’t have lock-in period as low as 1 year and back it up with amazing services.
At the end of the day, whether the carriers end up paying thousands of dollars (unnecessarily) boils down to them spending ample amount of time to look for the best ELD manufacturer.