Trucking fleets will be focused this year on making the transition from paper to electronic logs (ELDs). While the Phased-In Compliance Phase does not start until December 2017, carriers need to do research and decision-making now so they are ready for the new rule. By the end of this year, motor carriers and drivers subject to the rule must use AOBRDs (Automatic On Board Recording Devices) or ELDs. So, for many carriers, updating their Hours of Service plan will be at the top of their to-do list.
Related: Find the ELD deadlines for compliance in the Quick Guide to the FMCSA’s ELD mandate.
The number of fleet compliance solutions out on the market can definitely make picking one a daunting task for carriers. How do you know which one is better? The choice is now easier with an affordable Hours of Service (HOS) plan announced by Geotab.
Geotab Announces New HOS Plan for Hours of Service
Geotab is offering Hours of Service features to customers on a new fleet management software feature plan, called the HOS plan. Previously, HOS compliance with Geotab Drive and Garmin was part of the ProPlus plan.
The Geotab telematics-based compliance solution provides many management features for a reasonable fee.
So, what’s included?
With the Geotab HOS plan, carriers can get the Geotab Drive and Garmin HOS compliance tools. Geotab Drive is a mobile app that can be used on a driver’s smartphone or tablet (Android or iOS). IFTA miles recording and device tampering detection are also included.
The HOS plan provides other features such as instant GPS tracking using patented curve based algorithms, driver ID with NFC, vehicle maintenance reminders, and basic driver coaching. Since Geotab is an open platform solution, customization is available and users have access to the free software development kit and APIs.
View the complete feature list here.
Survey Finds Small Fleets Are Slower to Get On Board with ELDs
Kevin Jones of Fleet Owner magazine reports that small fleets (those with less than 250 trucks) have been delaying the move to electronic logging. As of September 2016, only 33% of small fleets had rolled out ELDs. Compare that figure with the 81% ELD implementation rate for large fleets and you see the difference. The results are based on a survey of more than 400 carriers.
Reasons given for the delay include concerns over the ELD lawsuit and driver acceptance. However, the latest development on the legal front is that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied a petition from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association for a rehearing of the lawsuit. Last year, the court found that the ELD rule did not violate the Fourth Amendment.
ELDs Improve Fleet Productivity and Efficiency
Some fleets may believe that transitioning will be costly. The Geotab HOS plan shows that electronic logs are not out of reach. Contrary to perception, ELDs can support and improve fleet productivity and efficiency. ELDs provide many benefits for fleets over and above Hours of Service. Geofencing, invoice scanning, and fuel usage monitoring are just some of these extras. As a greater number of trucking fleets make the switch, the advantage of electronic logging and telematics will soon be common knowledge.
IFTA Reporting and the ELD Mandate