Learn how to work smarter, not harder, by using ELDs and vehicle tracking devices to automate your fuel tax compliance processes.
Rick Malchow - Industry Business Advisor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
September 25 , 2020
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The Encompass® Platform offers an easy-to-use GPS vehicle tracking solution that gives you near real-time visibility on all your vehicles without any driver interaction. Automated fuel tax reporting also available.
If you are a carrier gathering the required IRP and IFTA compliance data manually (through your drivers’ trip data sheets) you should consider using ELD or vehicle tracker technology to automate the process. Not only will it save your drivers and your staff a lot of time (up to 90% off manual processes), your report accuracy will dramatically increase, reducing your chance of a tax audit and fines.
IRP and IFTA reporting requirements are similar. Carriers must keep:
Fortunately, the GPS data from ELDs and vehicle tracking systems can record the mileage data. However, it is up to carriers to ensure that the provider's devices meet the programs’ requirements. Download our whitepaper for a complete recap of those requirements.
FMCSA-registered ELDs use regular GPS pings not only to give fleets an overview of driver behaviors but also to gather the data points needed for automated IRP and IFTA reporting. However, those data points are only a starting point for an IFTA and IRP report. Your ELD provider needs resources — both regulatory and technical — to truly help you accurately collect, analyze, and submit accurate information. Don't assume they are compliant. Use the above whitepaper to check data points, and don't hesitate to ask for a trial of the system to double-check and ensure submission accuracy.
Motor carriers who don’t need elogs according to the new hours-of-service (HOS) rules can still automate their fuel tax processes with a vehicle tracking solution.
A vehicle tracking solution, like Encompass® Vehicle Tracking Plus, can help HOS-exempt fleets get data that is similar to ELDs. Depending on the provider, a vehicle tracker can automate fuel tax compliance, show a vehicle’s location, and display performance behavior, like speeding. Some providers, like J. J. Keller, offer geofencing, enhanced trip planning tools, and other compliance tools, like comprehensive DOT recordkeeping for vehicles and drivers.
BONUS: Unlike ELDs, most vehicle tracking solutions do not require a driver interface, which means your drivers have one less distraction and responsibility.
Fleets who think their use of the CDL or non-CDL vehicle short-haul exemption excuses them from following other FMCSA requirements misunderstand the hours-of-service rules and are putting themselves at risk. The short-haul exception does not exempt a driver from hours-of-service requirements. It merely lets drivers comply by using a time record rather than an ELD. Carriers and drivers still must abide by all other FMCSA rules — like DVIRs, driver qualification (DQ), and drug and alcohol program management.
The bottom line is that if you have to comply with IFTA and IRP, so why not make it easier on your staff and drivers by automating the process with an ELD or vehicle tracker? Talk with one of our compliance specialists today to see which solution is best for your operation.
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