With the ELD mandate deadline nine months away, it's easy to think you have plenty of time to look into solutions and providers. Yet, as with most things in life, the sooner your fleet implements an ELD solution, the better. Learn more as we list the reasons why your fleet shouldn't wait to get an ELD.
1. Give Yourself Time to Research Providers
Since the Final Rule was published in December 2015, there's been a small explosion in the number of ELD providers. Whether they're promising that they'll help your fleet become ELD compliant by the deadline, claiming that they're 'the number 1 provider or that they're endorsed by the FMCSA; it's important to take the time to research these providers and their claims.
When looking at an ELD provider, research the company, their services, and their device. Find out if they have a proven track record and how long they have been in the industry. You'll also want to make sure that they can actually deliver on their promises as it will be your responsiblity to ensure that you're operating in compliance by the deadline.
2. Give Your Drivers and Office Staff Time to Adjust
The last thing you'll want to do is rush a roll-out of any ELD solution just so you can make the deadline. Not only will you end up with an ELD solution that's not a good fit for your fleet, but you'll also frustrate your drivers and office staff as they scamble to adjust to the new rules and technology.
Instead, we recommend implementing an ELD solution well before the deadline to give your drivers and staff time to learn how electronic logging devices work, what they record, and how to use them to track hours-of-service (HOS). The more time you give your drivers and staff to adjust, the more smooth and successful your fleet's transition to ELDs will be. Plus, the additional time will allow your fleet to work out any kinks or hiccups before they can affect your compliance or CSA scores.
3. Get More Flexibility with AOBRDs
Automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) are similar to ELDs in that they record drive time, stop and start times, vehicle miles, and other data from the vehicle's engine. But AOBRDs are less restrictive than electronic logging devices when it comes to editing driver logs and how much data they record.
Under the ELD mandate, AOBRDs have been grandfathered for an additional two years after the deadline. This means that fleets using AOBRDs before December 18, 2017 can continue using them until December 16, 2019.
Therefore, if your drivers are using paper logs or eLogs, and you do not implement an AOBRD or ELD solution before the deadline: your fleet must transition to electronic logging devices.
If you implement AOBRDs before the deadline, you'll be able to use them for an additional two years. This gives your drivers and office staff a chance to ease into the new rules and get use to creating engine-connected driver logs. The more forgiving AOBRDs will also allow your staff to correct mistakes and make minor edits to their logs as they learn how to track HOS with the devices. Why make compliance more difficult than it has to be? I highly recommend that you take advantage of this flexibility!
4. Don't Get Caught Off Guard
Unless your drivers qualify for an ELD exemption, your fleet must be compliant by the deadline.
It's risky to wait until the last moment to implement a solution. If there is a high demand just before the deadline, some providers may not be able to fulfil their orders on time. Don’t be caught unprepared just because the provider you have selected won't be able to deliver a device. If your fleet is not using AOBRDs or ELDs by the deadline, you'll no longer be operating in compliance, risking violations and your CSA score.
Get ELD Ready With BigRoad
Get on the road to ELD compliance with BigRoad's DashLink ELD. Our affordable, easy-to-use DashLink ELD can be used as an AOBRD if implemented before the mandate deadline. Even better, you decide when you're ready to operate in ELD compliance with a simple, software update. Learn more by requesting a demo.