ELD mandates for truck drivers prevent fatigue, increase safety

ELD Mandates for Truck Drivers Increases Safety

Truck drivers will soon scrap their handwritten mileage journals for electronic logging devices (ELDs). Far more accurate than pen and paper, an ELD connects to the vehicle’s engine to electronically record hours on the road. A mandate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires ELD installation in an estimated 3.4 million commercial trucks and fleets by Dec. 18, 2017.

The new mandate aims to prevent driver fatigue and improve highway safety by electronically syncing the vehicle’s engine with the driver’s log. This ensures that a driver’s hours of service (HOS) are reported accurately. ELDs provide paperless, computerized systems to track driver routes, hours worked, rest breaks, vehicle inspection reports, and other factors that drivers are required to report. Until now, the technology was optional and based on convenience.

Having this information stored in one system simplifies life for carriers and safety officials. Knowing a driver’s precise status improves regulatory compliance. Trucks with an ELD have 53 percent lower HOS violations.

Safety first

Safe drivers need to be alert. Commercial truckers already have federal regulations dictating when and how long they can drive. Drivers can’t go too far without breaks. They can’t work too many days in a row. And they can’t drive more than 11 hours, in order to avoid fatigue.

Two decades of research indicate that a significant number of drivers exceed the HOS limit, admit to feeling fatigue, and have dozed off at the wheel. They say they go longer and farther because of tight schedules, needing the money, traffic jams and inclement weather. A 2007 study of crashes involving large trucks showed that 13 percent of commercial drivers were fatigued at the time of their crash.

ELDs help ensure compliance with HOS standards since there’s no disputing the ELD’s precise record of duty (ROD) data, required of commercial drivers. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, adequate rest and controlled work hours help combat fatigue. ELD-equipped trucks have 11.7 percent fewer total crashes and 5.1 percent fewer preventable crashes.

Joe DeLorenzo, director of the FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, said safety is the priority. “There are a lot of benefits for all of us towards our goal of making sure the transportation environment is as safe as possible,” DeLorenzo said.

Reliable and affordable technology

Carriers who have not yet invested in automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRD) want affordable ELD equipment … before the mandate hits.

For a limited time, Crestmark provides discounted ELD options through a preferred partner program with Transflo, a respected leader in mobile, telematics, and business process automation.

“Automation and efficiency are good for safety and the industry, but ELD regulations can be burdensome for small businesses and small budgets,” said Heath Holdbrooks, Crestmark executive vice president and Transportation Services Finance Division president. “Crestmark understands this. In support of the trucking industry, we are working hard to make sure truckers have affordable, convenient, and reliable options as they make the move to electronic logging.”

For a limited time, Transflo is offering preferred partner pricing to Crestmark transportation clients on the Transflo ELD T7. This 3-inch device installs in minutes, includes a powerful mobile app for managing logs, and syncs with a phone or tablet. Within about 10 minutes, a driver can be back on the road. In addition to recording drive time, optional services allow carriers to access engine diagnostics, driver behavior, and accident reconstruction information.

“Transflo’s competitive rates and dependable technology could be appealing to trucking companies who are new to the market, running lean, or are not yet well-versed in ELD reporting and analytics options,” Holdbrooks said. “We urge our Crestmark trucking clients to take advantage of this discounted offer ahead of the December deadline.”

“Our fully integrated ELD solution is what carriers and drivers need in this new environment,” said George Abernathy, vice president of sales and supply chain solutions at Transflo. “The technology not only addresses the required move from paper records to electronic logs, but also foundational business needs like safety and productivity. Smaller fleets now enjoy operational capabilities that were previously out of reach.”

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