9 ways ELD technology improves your fleet: Get more from your ELD data

Article Published by Geotab
Author: Robin Kinsey is a Leasing Business Development Manager for Geotab.
https://www.geotab.com/how-eld-technology-improves-fleets/

Make your ELD technology work for you. ELD data can be leveraged in many ways across your fleet operations.

Since all fleets need to become ELD compliant, why not leverage your investment to the best of its abilities? With electronic logging, you will have access to a wealth of data like never before. In addition to collecting records of duty status and location, engine hours, vehicles miles, driver ID, a telematics solution can capture other critical data like odometer, fuel usage, speed, hard braking and emissions.

Benefiting from your ELD investment

Learning how to get more from your ELD data is well worth the effort and can even save you money. In this article, we’ll help you learn how to better leverage your ELD technology, so you can make them work for you.

From safety and maintenance to customer service, here are nine ways that carriers can use ELDs.

1. Improve the safety of your drivers

The absolute number one reason to use ELDs is safety. The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that 1,844 crashes can be avoided and 26 lives saved annually. If one life could be saved, it would be worth it.

See alsoHow to avoid electronic logging device (ELD) malfunction and mitigate downtime

2. Take on more work

Typically, at some time of the day, most drivers sit in their truck and attempt to create their logs. Not only is it an approximate guess of his or her day but it also takes time. We all know time is money.

In a conservative estimate, let’s say this driver averages 30 minutes of his day creating his logs. Then we take that 30 minutes and multiply that by 260 work days in a year (30 mins x 260 days = 7800 mins or 130 hrs). That equals 5.6 days or another 130 hours he could be driving and making money!

Research solutions that integrate with your ELD to help manage your driver’s time better. McLeod, available on the Geotab Marketplace, integrates with Geotab to automate driver hour updates within the LoadMaster Dispatch module. Receive automated retrieval of the driver’s HOS data, including available drive and On-duty hours, allows our customers to better manage driver availability.

3. Redirect office staff to more important tasks

Most companies have a designated office person that runs around each week, gathering logs from the drivers and reviewing them to make sure everything is completed correctly. With ELDs, those logs are quick and easy to access. No more hunting down drivers or hounding them to fill out their logs. The improvement in log accuracy can also help reduce the opportunities for violations and fines.

If an administrator spends ten hours a week reviewing and processing logs, and their average wage is $15.00 per hour, the company could save 520 working hours and $7,800 per year. Those hours can be reduced, or the staff member can be reassigned to other important tasks that support the business.

There are different types of solutions on the market that take care of ELD hardware setup and device management, saving fleets time and money having to deal with the setup themselves. Check out Barcoding on the Geotab Marketplace for more information on how to get started.

4. Maximize uptime and customer satisfaction

Geotab provides engine diagnostics with our solution so why not leverage that data to be proactive instead of reactive with your maintenance. Being proactive typically reduces your overall maintenance cost and allows for overall better maintenance of your vehicles.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that telematics technology can help a company reduce maintenance and repair costs by as much as 14%. Solutions such as Drivewyze help to skip weigh stations and also save time on delays that could be avoided. Additionally, they also have an added element included with their safety notification driver behavior feature. Just imagine if your driver completes a delivery then can’t leave because the vehicle’s battery is dead. This sets out a chain of events:

  • You’ll probably have to find another truck, perhaps even rent a truck to transfer his load.
  • Then, the truck might have to be towed. You lose the truck plus the working hours as the driver sits idle.
  • The delay in deliveries might cause customer satisfaction issues. This can all be avoided with ELDs and setting up a notification when the vehicle’s battery is losing voltage, saving you time and money while improving customer relations.

5. Improve driver coaching

Cost savings is one major reason to look into driver behavior management. Driver feedback tools like real-time coaching and in-cab alerts are some of the best ways to minimize unnecessary wear and tear on your fleet’s vehicles. This reduces the overall maintenance needed on your vehicle, which pays off in lower costs.

Coaching drivers to avoid speeding can lower your fuel spending. You can optimize the fuel economy of your fleet by focusing on many factors, including rapid acceleration, speeding, idle time and heavy braking. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for every 5 mph that is driven over 50 mph, gas mileage decreases. Going the speed limit has a fuel economy benefit of 7-14%, which translates into $0.16-$0.32 per gallon.

6. Reduce downtime and streamline vehicle inspections

Real-time feedback on Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) eliminates the need to chase down reports and the uncertainty about whether the driver really completed the inspection as required.

Additionally, electronic logs make it possible to manage your defects in real-time, which reduces your downtime due to maintenance. Your mechanic or even a third-party maintenance company can receive your completed DVIR, and quickly determine if the issue is high priority and needs immediate repair or if it’s not urgent and can be scheduled later. What’s more, the required part can be ordered in advance, prior to the vehicle entering the shop, which again reduces the time the vehicle is in repair and not making money for you.

Try integrating with a solution, such as Whip Around that makes managing DVIR easier with trigger alerts for vehicles moving with a failed or missing inspection. Additionally, track damage with photos and capture accurate mileage directly from the mobile app.

Read more: Remote diagnostics for commercial trucks

You can also set up maintenance reminders based upon miles driven, engine hours or time. This will better assist you with keeping your fleet of vehicles in the best driving conditions — reducing downtime, maintenance costs and extending the longevity of your trucks.

7. Use electronic logs for routing

Routing applications are wonderful but most telematics solutions offer some basic routing features and functionalities. If you do not have a routing application, with ELDs, you can now determine the best route your driver needs to take. By comparing the planned route versus actual route, you can better plan how to be more efficient and also manage miles driven.

8. Confirm arrival times for customers

Have you ever had a customer call and tell you a driver was late arriving — only for the driver to deny it? Who is right? Avoid getting in the middle of an awkward situation. use geofencing or zones to determine when your driver arrived, when they left and how long they were there. This way, you have delivery status at your fingertips whenever customers call, and better manage the time spent at each stop.

9. Automate IFTA Reporting With Electronic Logs

Do you have someone running around your office each month trying to determine how many miles were driven in what state for your IFTA report? Now you can have all of your mileage broken down by state and country in a report that is emailed to you at whatever frequency you would like. This will save you time, money and headaches. To simplify the process, integrate with a solution such as IFTA Plus that manages and prepares quarterly IFTA tax returns for fleets to save time.

Get more from your ELD Data

ELD technology and telematics can provide you with so much data other than just what is necessary to become ELD Compliant. You have the insights, why not use it to your benefit to become more efficient and save time and costs? Learn why you should consider Geotab as your go-to source for compliance management. See how Geotab makes ELD easy and request a demo today.


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