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Don't Throw Your ELD Out the Cab Window

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Mark Schedler - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

June 05 , 2020

You've likely heard the news that starting in September, the CDL-driver short-haul exception will allow a 14-hour work window and a 150 air-mile radius. Your first reaction may have been an enthusiastic, “Now, I can get rid of ELDs for my local drivers!”

But wait just a minute!

If you’re considering pulling ELDs from your short-haul vehicles, think about these three ELD benefits:

ELDs Can Help You Identify and Correct Unsafe Behavior

The telematics data provided by an ELD can alert you to drivers who need coaching due to working too many hours, traveling at excessive speeds or hard-braking, idling the truck excessively, and drivers choosing inefficient routes or aren’t where they should be.

The potential liability of unsafe drivers and your duty to act is present even if you stop using telematics and ELDs to manage your drivers.

ELDs Can Help You Manage Driver and Vehicle Efficiency

ELDs have the data that can help you become a more efficient operation:

  • ELDs deliver real-time vehicle tracking information that gives you the ability to quickly dispatch the closest driver to make an extra pick-up later in the day and provide the most efficient route.
  • ELDs can give you notifications of driver idling and running unnecessary miles so you can reduce idle-time and increase fuel efficiency. You have to train and monitor your drivers to operate efficiently and preserve your margins.
  • ELDs delivers the stats of your driver's detention times. Detention time hurts driver and truck productivity. If you can’t measure detention time at your customers, you will struggle to bill for it. If you don’t charge for all contractually allowed detention, your drivers will sit the longest.

Manage DVIRs Easily with ELDs

Maintenance issues are many carriers’ greatest operational challenge. A useful tool to reduce downtime and violations are electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (eDVIRs). It’s a feature available in many ELD solutions, including the J. J. Keller® Encompass ELD solution.

Electronic DVIRs enhance the accuracy and efficiency of driver vehicle inspections and drive accountability for vehicle repairs. An electronic inspection checklist can reinforce your company’s vehicle inspection process, provide consistent proof of inspections, and can be more efficient for recording defects in harsh weather. Some solutions allow a driver to submit images of defects. A picture of a cracked weld or exposed tire tread convey the severity of a defect in an instant and spur immediate action.

Don’t Take Your Fleet Back in Time

Can you imagine going back to a paper timecard as your only way to see the daily activity of your drivers and vehicles?

Consider using an ELD provider that allows you to “flag” the exempt drivers in the back office as "exempt" drivers. This feature will enable you to see the driver's location, but it will not track the driver's incoming records as a driver's log. The driver only needs to log in at the beginning of the day and log out at the end of the day.

ELDs offer more than just an hours-of-service compliance solution. With 24 x 7 vehicle tracking and telematics, you can manage unsafe behavior, minimize potential liability, reduce your maintenance expenses, and increase your fleet's productivity and efficiency. If you don’t have access to the data, how can you take advantage of the short-haul exception changes?

Learn more about J. J. Keller’s ELD solution, with the flexibility to manage every driver — local, exempt, and over-the-road — with FREE ELD’s for a limited time.


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