The electronic logging device mandate or ELD mandate was proposed by the FMSCA and has been passed by the Senate. It is one of the more recent but drastic steps taken in an attempt to improve road safety and curb road accidents in the USA.
With the ELD mandate implementation deadline already passed in December 2017 (December 2019 if carriers have been equipped with AOBRDs), new carriers used for commercial use must be equipped as per the ELD mandate.
We will explore the benefits of installing a dash cam in carriers and how along with the ELD mandate, it can be a robust system.
The police department was the first organized body to begin the installation of a dash cam across its fleet. Commercial fleet vehicles are now also implementing this practice because of its numerous benefits. Some of the major reasons businesses are considering installing a dash cam in their carriers are reducing insurance costs due to hit-and-runs, insurance fraud, traffic violations, etc.
With improved dash cam technology, they have become easier to install and give businesses the ability to visually monitor their entire fleet. Some major benefits of implementing this technology in your fleets include:
Accidents happen in a blink of an eye and it is sometimes difficult for the driver to recall the actual chain of events leading up to the moment – especially if they have been injured. Statements are sometimes fragmented and it is impossible to ascertain its authenticity. Lastly, no one ever wants to admit fault.
A dash cam will simply record the cold, hard facts. The video footage will help prove for certain if the accident was not your driver’s fault and they can avoid charges and fines. If your driver was at fault, the footage may reveal information that may help reduce the driver’s sentence.
As discussed, insurance fraud is one of the biggest issues commercial fleet companies face. This is because they are usually targets of ‘crash-for-cash’ scams because commercial vehicles are backed by hefty insurance. If this happens, a dash cam will provide ample proof to prove your driver’s innocence.
Insurance companies are more than willing to provide deep discounts on insurance premiums if they know your entire fleet has been fitted with a dash cam. This can be a huge fixed cost saving for businesses every month.
Eye At All Times
When drivers are on multi-day trips or have been asked to keep the carrier with them overnight, you cannot always control what they do with the vehicle off-duty. Without a dash cam, you have no idea how they are treating your expensive asset.
With a dash cam, you can clearly see what happened after hours and if the vehicle was used for something the business does not expect the driver to do. If the dash cam has a built-in GPS, you can also see where the vehicle was taken, for how long and other useful information can be obtained.
An ELD is not just about compliance, it is a lot more than that. ELDs are packed with amazing features that optimize your fleet thereby minimizing costs and maximizing profits. They are now a statutory requirement and if they are not implemented in commercial vehicles, it can cause you to pay hefty fines and penalties. Read more about ELD Mandate here.
Some features to look for in your ELD are:
GPS Tracking allows you to track your carriers in almost real time. This is helpful in planning pick-up and delivery schedules. You can also view vehicle location history to make sure the carrier has not exited its pre-defined work-access area.
E logs are an important feature that helps you track Hours of Service (HOS) and make sure it is within statutory limits. Before E logs, paper logbooks were the norm and those were easily manipulated by drivers. It used to also prove to be a huge clerical task for fleet managers to go through, verify and archive.
An E log does this entire process for you and also alerts you if a driver exceeds permissible limits.
IFTA Reporting is another statutory check which must be done regularly. It is a tedious task but ELDs simplify it by automatically calculating the number of miles driven in each jurisdiction and then drawing out reports.
Before ELDs, it was difficult to understand a driver’s fuel management. Apart from calculating mileage, by hand, no other useful data could really be derived in this regard. ELDs can track fuel usage habits and pinpoint primary ways that the entire fleet is wasting fuel and also give you an analysis of an individual driver’s fuel management behaviors.
Over the long runs, this feature will save you thousands of dollars.
Small mechanical issues that could have been easily fixed, sometimes go unnoticed. This can cause them to grow over time until they bring your carrier down. Big repair jobs are not only expensive but also take a lot of time. Asset downtime is a major cost to a business.
ELDs with engine diagnostic features continually send data about engine temperatures, speeding/breaking habits, battery level, and other such relevant data. It alerts you when there is an issue that is causing the engine to not work at optimum efficiency.
It also helps expedite statutory pre and post trip maintenance checks. Having records on the same in an organized manner allows the driver to finish the process of on-road inspections swiftly, therefore saving time.