Driving and safety rules of commercial vehicles are on the way to improvement. And the major breakthrough is provided by electronic logging devices (ELD). Electronic logging device has now become a crucial part of any commercial or heavy duty vehicle. With Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) finally making use of ELD’s mandatory for commercial fleets, the demand of ELD’s is constantly on the rise. However, selecting a compatible device is becoming hectic for most of the users. Here we are sharing a complete and thorough the guide on things that need to be considered while buying an ELD.
How does an ELD work?
Electronic logging device is not a fully automatic device rather it records only drive time automatically. All other features are manually set by the driver. The threshold value for the device to change the driver status from on-duty to driving is 5 MPH. That means, soon as the vehicle goes beyond the speed of 5 MPH, it automatically sets the status to driving. During the driving status, ELD is totally out of control of the driver. Soon as the vehicle slows down below the speed of 5 MPH, either device automatically changes the status or the driver can change it manually.
Things to consider while buying an ELD:
The very first thing to consider while you are about to buy an electronic logging system for your fleet is FMCSA certification. Not every ELD will guarantee compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules and recommendations. Therefore, you need to be certain about FMCSA certification. There are a number of rules system developers need to comply to make their devices certified by the federal department. Here is the complete list of certified list of ELDs from FMCSA. Also, it is a good idea to start your search by having a look at departments certified devices.
A thorough look at the features:
The idea behind buying logging systems should not be to make fleet compliance with federal laws. Rather there are a plethora of features fleets can enjoy by equipping their vehicles with ELD system. There are tons of features that can reduce administrative burdens from the management, minimize expense and can maximize profits. The latest features in a system ensure easier management for drivers as well as the fleet managers. Here is the list of mandatory features that should be present on each electronic logging device.
- Log auditing
- Auto calculation of IFTA
- GPS tracking
- Alerts and notifications
- Vehicle diagnosis
- Driver reviews
- Idle time calculation
Integration is another very crucial factor to look when buying an ELD device for your truck or any other commercial vehicles. There are tons of applications available for dispatch and fuel calculation. A good device is the one that can offer integration with most of the similar applications. For example, you will want to record your dispatch and fuel purchase data on the same device to lessen the burden on management. You can checkout some eld devices reviews to have an idea about different integration options eld devices available in the market have.
You should ask the vendors this important question about integrations with such latest and modern features. If the company is offering this integration it is you go to signal to adopt the device. These integrations lessen the burden on fleet management and reduce stress on the drivers.
Another very crucial factor to look before you buy an ELD is the interface. User experience is the most crucial factor to look upon in any digital system. Similarly, it is for ELD devices. Though the trucking industry is not very much familiar with design and interfaces, FMCSA has kept this into his recommendations.
User-experience is the most demanded and crucial factor because it makes the system useful. On the go, drivers and fleet managers do not have much of a time due to hectic driving schedule. If they cannot find important features right away, this is a bad experience and reduces employees performance. Moreover, it can also become costly for fleet management or company because of unfriendly user-experience.
What about the technical support? Is it fast and efficient?
The importance of technical and logistical support cannot be neglected in any digital service. A smart, fast and efficient technical support is extremely important for any service to invite more business.
Because electronic logging device is fairly a new coming to the trucking industry, drivers and managers are still trying to learn about it. Because there is not much awareness between the users and the companies leveraging them, fast support turnaround is inevitable.
You should ask the company about support in the very beginning. You should also try to view their reviews and recommendations. If there is anything negative, refrain from buying from this company and switch to another instantly.
Ask about the additional charges?
Because electronic logging device users are not much of familiar with the technology and it’s pricing. Most manufacturers charge extra for hardware, installation, implementation or by the means of monthly fees. It is therefore important that you ask the company in advance about any hidden charges. Try to get the exact and detailed that lists everything and every detail. Ask the company if there are any additional charges.
If the company doesn’t charge anything it is a go-to signal. Or if there are any additional charges that you know in advance, you can prepare yourself in advance. Therefore, it is extremely important that you know about the complete cost in advance.
Can it cope with my changing business?
Obviously, businesses grow or change their internal structures, If your goes this transition, can the app coupe with that change? Ask this extremely important question before you finalize any deal with the vendor.
Also, it is important to know as you might have to pay an extra amount in some cases. So, you need to prepare yourself beforehand. A much important aspect to consider is whether the company has the potential to grow or not? If the company cannot grow, you might have to switch the system that may not be friendly for your organization.