The Fleet Manager’s Guide to ELD Solutions
An electronic logging device, or ELD, is crucial to most companies that manage fleets of commercial vehicles. Without these devices, it would be much more challenging for businesses to meet federal regulations and keep track of their drivers' performance out on the road. Due to the importance of ELD solutions, many fleet managers are always looking to gain an edge by picking the best ELD solution possible for their fleet.
As you search for the top ELD solutions for your needs, review our guide to electronic logging devices to ensure you know what ELDs are and how they can benefit your fleet. You might also be interested in learning more about the considerations you'll likely want to take into account when choosing an ELD solution.
What is an ELD?
Essentially, ELDs are a kind of hardware that plugs into a commercial motor vehicle's onboard diagnostic port to track a driver's activities. These devices record essential data about a vehicle, such as miles driven, speed, and location. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that most commercial motor vehicles have ELDs.
Per the FMCSA's ELD rule, the primary purpose of ELDs is to track commercial motor vehicles' hours of service. This term, abbreviated HOS, refers to how many hours a commercial driver spends on the hour on the road per day. It also relates to the number of hours drivers are off or on duty every week. Since the federal government regulates HOS, any commercial fleet company needs ELDs to prove their drivers comply with various regulations.
While ELDs' primary purpose is to track HOS, companies can also use them to collect other data. Since they're a type of telematics device, they can transmit computerized information over long distances. Many fleet managers enjoy using ELDs that record engine speed and load, fuel efficiency, diagnostic codes, safety-related events, and real-time vehicle locations.
Benefits of ELD solutions
Due to ELDs' many capabilities, any ELD solutions guide should cover the advantages they provide. For example, ELDs offer companies easier compliance and increased driver safety. If you're thinking about adding ELD solutions to your fleet, consider some of the primary benefits more advanced ELD solutions can provide.
- Easier compliance: With an ELD installed in a vehicle, the device transmits HOS data electronically and stores it in e-logs. As a result, companies don't have to keep track of HOS information via hard-copy logbooks. Since the system automatically saves the data online, a driver and their manager can more easily keep track of their HOS to ensure they're complying with regulations.
- Less administrative work: When a fleet uses an ELD in their commercial vehicles, they can reduce their administrative workload. Since ELDs can electronically track more than just HOS, companies can significantly decrease the number of physical forms and manual tracking tasks drivers and administrators must complete each day. An ELD can send essential data to fleet management software that automatically generates relevant forms and gives your team easily accessible information.
- Lower maintenance costs: Some ELDs can detect engine issues and send a real-time warning about them to applicable staff members. Due to ELDs' ability to identify maintenance needs, your fleet managers can take immediate action on the issue, preventing extensive engine damage that would have cost you much more. Additionally, your fleet managers can use ELD data to develop a more appropriate preventive maintenance schedule.
- Increased driver safety: With all the data some ELDs can gather, you can improve your drivers' safety. Data about a driver's speed, driving behavior, and harsh weather can help your fleet managers help drivers navigate dangerous situations and provide additional coaching to drivers who aren't operating their vehicles safely.
How to choose the right ELD solution for your fleet
As you search for the right ELD solution for your fleet, you may want to know more about how to choose an ELD fitting your company's needs. The best ELD solutions for fleets often have a few factors that set them apart from the competition. Find out more about the primary considerations when picking out an ELD solution below.
- Fleet management features: When selecting an ELD solution, fleet management features are one of the first concerns. An ELD solution with a comprehensive suite of tools can help your managers keep better track of their fleet. Some top features include GPS trackers with real-time location data, driver identification, communication tools within a fleet, accident reconstruction abilities, and navigation assistance.
- Scalable solutions: Knowing how to choose an ELD solution that will provide value far into the future often comes down to checking scalability. If your fleet grows and your needs change, you must select a scalable ELD. When comparing ELDs, ensure they can grow with your business, offering you more software plans, services, features, and customer support as you expand.
- Company reputation: Another crucial consideration is the reputation of the ELD company you may be interested in buying from. Any trustworthy ELD should be on FMCSA's list of registered ELDs, as this showcases they're self-certified. A quality ELD solution provider will also have a stellar reputation in the industry and high customer satisfaction.
- Reliable devices: Whenever you select an ELD solution, you'll likely want to get one with a track record of dependability. Since you need an ELD to comply with federal regulations, a respected ELD solution ensures you always stay on the right side of the law.
Process and best practices for selecting an ELD
As you begin your search for ELD solutions, start by evaluating your company's needs. For one, you'll likely want an ELD solution with all the qualities and advantages described above. You can compare ELD solutions by assessing how your drivers will use them, checking that any ELD solution provides you with the best analytics, communication ability, and platform.
Once you have your criteria in place, you can begin the research process, eliminating providers that don't meet your requirements. After you've narrowed down your top solutions, take a moment to research the company, ensuring they have an outstanding reputation for their ELDs and customer service.
If you have a provider in mind, see if they offer a free demo. Generally, it's a best practice to try out a company's ELD demo before you commit to partnering with them. By using the demo, you can evaluate how well the solution fits with your company and ensure it'll deliver the results you need.
Why choose Rand McNally for your ELD solutions?
At Rand McNally, we carry the best ELD solutions for fleets. As a result, many companies choose to work with us to improve their fleet performance and safety. Some of the main benefits of using our compliance solutions include the following.
- Better protection: If one of your fleet's vehicles gets in an accident, you'll need accurate and comprehensive HOS logs to protect your company. These logs provide crucial evidence the driver was complying with federal safety regulations at the time of the accident.
- Simpler use: Our ELD solutions come in an easy-to-use package, with a user-friendly interface you can customize to your needs. Since our app is simple for drivers to use, your drivers' training is minimal, allowing them to get on the road quicker.
- Improved accident prevention: With our ELD compliance solutions and vehicle analytics in your corner, you receive more details and information you can use to prevent accidents. For example, drivers will know when they've reached their limit, and your fleet managers can use the increased data to take proactive actions against safety issues.
- More detail: When your fleet managers use our portal, they can see a snapshot of every driver. This snapshot includes pertinent details, like the driver's name, HOS graph, violations, individual HOS entries, and date of record. With all these driver analytics, your fleet managers can better serve your drivers, providing training resources to them when needed.
Request pricing and a demo from Rand McNally!
Due to all the benefits of using our ELD solutions, you might be interested in using our services. Now that you've reviewed our ELD guide, request information on our pricing today to receive access to our free demo and learn more about how we can benefit your fleet.