The ELD mandate final compliance phase is now in effect, but many trucking companies are stuck with outdated legacy providers and still have yet to make a move on the right compliance partner. They may not know whether it is more beneficial to switch to a modern ELD system, what that means for operations, or how they can improve their company. The right electronic log system can boost your bottom line, so let’s take a closer look at just how your company can benefit from this service!
Why Switch to a Better ELD System?
If you have already been using an ELD system, you might find that it is not really making your life any easier. In theory, these devices are designed to help you and your business to thrive while making the roads safe simultaneously. It might be time to upgrade your current electronic logging device and software to a better system like what HOS247 has to offer if you notice any of these things with your current provider.
Lack of Customer Service
How long does it take you to get in touch with a customer service representative? Some trucking companies find themselves spending hours on the line trying to reach someone. When they do finally get through to a real person, that person may not even be able to assist them with their problem. A lack of customer service should be a major red flag that you need to upgrade to a better solution.
HOS247 offers some of the best customer service in the industry. When you sign up for our system, we automatically assign you to a dedicated account manager. You know exactly who is going to help you correct your issues each time you call in. Our responsive customer service team is also multilingual so we can assist you in English, Spanish, Russian, and Polish.
The entire premise of the elog system is to simplify life for your drivers and back office staff. You should be able to access your data and manage all of your documents with just a few convenient clicks of the mouse. If you start to hear back office staff grumbling about how difficult it is to run reports, locate drivers, and more, then it might be time to switch to a different solution.
The same goes for drivers. They are the ones on the front lines who have to use these solutions throughout the day. If they find that the system is too cumbersome for them to navigate easily, then you will want to switch to something different and more user-friendly.
Is your monthly bill higher than what you were initially quoted? Some ELD systems for trucks do not have the most transparent pricing. You might be facing additional fees for activation, installation, training, and other key aspects of implementation. These expensive fees can certainly add up and eat away at your business’s bottom line. When you find that the pricing you have been offered is not as transparent as promised, make sure you investigate a new solution.
Keep your company in compliance with all of the necessary documentation. A lot of companies began to pop up after the ELD mandate was issued in order to make a quick buck. They do not have the experience in dealing with Hours of Service (HOS) rules that are necessary to keep your drivers safe and keep your company from paying hefty fines.
Another downside to opting for a relatively new company is their inexperience. They don’t know what truckers want or need from one of these softwares. This makes the program less intuitive and more cumbersome to use. In turn, this can complicate things for back office staff and drivers alike, leading to frustration.
Who Must Comply with the ELD Mandate?
According to the FMCSA, approximately three million vehicles need to comply with the ELD mandate. An easy way to determine if you fall under this umbrella is whether or not you must file Records of Duty Status (RODS). If you are required to keep these records, then you will be held accountable to using an electronic logging device.
How do you know if you are required to keep RODS? Most drivers who manage a commercial motor vehicle and are involved in interstate commerce must comply with the HOS regulations. Specifically, you must comply with these Hours of Service papers if:
- Your truck weighs 10,001 pounds and above.
- Your truck has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds and above.
- Your truck is designed or used to transport sixteen or more passengers (including the driver) without compensation.
- Your bus/van is designed to transport nine or more passengers (including the driver) for a fee.
- Your truck is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring a placard.
If you are involved in any of the above situations, then you must keep 24-hour Records of Duty Status and must comply with the ELD mandate.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you are a driver-salesperson whose driving time does not exceed forty hours in seven consecutive days, you do not need to file this paperwork. Oilfield carriers who focus on transporting oilfield equipment are also exempt. Short-haul CDL drivers that operate within a 100 air-mile radius or non-CDL drivers that operate within a 150 air-mile radius do not need an ELD either.
One of the hot topics in the ELD industry is whether or not your solution can support exemptions. There are four major categories of exemptions that allow you to deviate from standard Hours of Service rules including the: 30-minute break exception, 16-hour short-haul exception, adverse driving conditions, and direct emergency assistance. For information, see the sections below.
- 30-minute break exception: Under most circumstances, drivers cannot log more than eight hours of driving time until they take a thirty-minute break. Short-haul drivers who qualify for the 100 air-mile radius provision (CDL) or 150 air-mile radius (non-CDL) are exempt from this rule.
- 16-hour short-haul exception: Drives may be extended from fourteen hours to sixteen hours once every seven days. This exception can be claimed if the driver has returned to the normal work reporting location and was released from duty from that location for the previous five duty tours. It can also be used if the carrier releases the driver from duty within sixteen hours after coming on duty following ten hours off duty. Last but not least, the driver cannot have taken this exception within the previous six days.
- Adverse driving conditions: Drivers may extend their drive time by two hours in adverse weather conditions or other circumstances including heavy fog, road closures, or accidents.
- Direct emergency assistance: Emergency conditions are declared by the President, state governor, and the FMCSA. If none of these institutions has acknowledged a state of emergency, then this exception cannot be claimed.
What Other Features Do You Need?
In addition to electronic log systems that handle the exceptions listed above, you will also want a few additional features. Here are some of the features that your trucking operations will need in addition to the basic ELD system.
Get better control over your fleet in real time with GPS tracking. This allows back office staff to better analyze routes, estimate arrival times, and reduce the number of phone calls necessary each day. It also allows you to pinpoint areas where time and resources are wasted. Drivers are less likely to run personal errands or make pitstops when being monitored through the GPS system.
As an added bonus, you gain peace of mind knowing that if your vehicles were ever stolen that you would be able to locate them quickly.
State Mileage Reporting
Your back-office staff likely spends hours each month managing your state mileage for IFTA tax reporting purposes. Now, these can all be automated with the implementation of the right electronic log systems. With just a few clicks, you can automate everything and reduce the overall risk of human error.
How much time does your company waste on phone calls just to orchestrate a simple pickup? Your clients can have answers much faster with automated dispatch through your ELD system. Utilize your GPS tracking to see where your fleet is in real-time and then assign the new task to the driver who is closest. Jobs can be assigned in seconds and progress can be monitored throughout the day. In the end, you are able to provide better customer service with less hassle for your staff.
HOS247 is an industry leader providing a reliable electronic log system. With our company, you are always a valued client. We automatically assign you to an individual and dedicated account representative who can assist with any concerns or troubles you may have. Our multilingual customer service team is ready and waiting to help you.
We offer flexible options that are intuitive for both drivers and back-office staff. Our all-in-one platform is perfect for trucking companies of all sizes. We guarantee that you will love our program in the first two weeks or we offer a hassle-free return process!
For businesses in the transportation industry, compliance with the HOS regulations established by the FMCSA is not optional, it is a legal requirement. Before the implementation of the ELD mandate, truckers were allowed to record their hours of service manually