With the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate deadline less than a month away, hopefully you are on your way to a successful ELD deployment. Or, maybe you have until December 16, 2019 because of the grandfathered automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) rule. Either way, this article provides useful tips to guarantee your road to ELD deployment is a smooth one.
Choose a Vendor: Go Beyond Minimum ELD Compliance
A quick fix for ELD compliance could work, but making the decision based solely on low cost may lead to unreliable technology. By selecting a more comprehensive solution, you can go beyond compliance to see the benefits of improved safety and efficiency. It’s a good opportunity for your fleet to become complaint while improving how your company does business.
Asking the right questions, performing due-diligence and conducting research is key to make sure that you choose an ELD vendor that you trust.
A good ELD provider should:
– Have a long-term successful track record of deploying in-cab mobile computing devices
– Be financially stable and able to update ELD devices in the event of regulatory changes
– Offer excellent 24/7 customer support
– Customize their solution to meet the unique needs of your fleet
– Go beyond ELD compliance and offer fleet management functionality to deliver you long-term value
Assign a Project Manager
The key to success is assigning a project manager within your organization who is committed to the ELD implementation and deployment project. The project manager should be a positive person who is a product champion for transitioning to ELDs. They should have the authority to make decisions and leadership ability to ensure the deployment stays on schedule. If possible, try to select someone who is familiar with the technical aspects of the company’s vehicles.
Create a Structured Deployment and Training Plan
Along with a committed project manager, you need a structured deployment plan. In your plan, consider installing in a few vehicles and training a smaller group to get key staff who you know will buy into the process familiar with the system.
After success with the initial group, continue rollout in conjunction with training and support capabilities. If deploying to a larger fleet, deploy region by region.
Educating drivers is only part of the work; carriers also have to educate dispatchers, salespeople, and their customers.
Communicating with Your Drivers
When transitioning from paper to electronic logs, it is essential to make sure everyone knows what to expect. This change will affect driver’s day-to-day work, so communicating the change ahead of time is crucial.
Take the time to explain what an ELD is, and what it is monitoring. Rumors can easily spread about what information is tracked with an ELD.
Explain how ELDs work and how hours are recorded and stored. Also, ease driver’s worries about making a reporting mistake with an ELD.
Provide your drivers with an accurate timeline of when your fleet will implement ELDs. Drivers should not have this type of culture change sprung upon them at the last minute. Ideally, at least a 90-day notice is appropriate.
It’s important to be as transparent as possible with the drivers during this time. Make sure to continually follow-up with your drivers and management staff to proactively manage any issues.
Focus on the Positives
Remember to stay positive about ELDs when communicating to drivers. Even though the FMCSA mandates them, there is a positive side to ELDs that you can focus on. These positives will improve work and possibly earning potential for drivers.
Some of the benefits to communicate are:
Maximized driving time and possibly earning potential – Paper logs require a driver to round up, but electronic logs use every available minute of drive time.
An end to manual log book entries – Paperwork isn’t a highlight of any driver’s day!
Improved safety and accountability – Both employers and drivers, have to respect legal limits and off-duty time.
Streamlined roadside checks – DOT officers can quickly verify hours of service.
Minimized interruptions from the back office – No calls from the back office to check for a driver’s hours of service availability.
A successful road ahead
Change is difficult, but by following the steps above, it is possible to have a successful ELD deployment for your fleet.
Don’t wait any longer to switch from paper to electronic logs. Request a demo today!