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Five ways ELDs will help your fleet

From safety to savings, Canada's impending ELD rule is going to bring big benefits to the trucking industry

Change happens in every industry, and commercial trucking is no exception:  As of June 12, 2021, all drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) currently required to keep paper logbooks in Canada will need to employ third-party certified electronic logging devices (ELD) to remain compliant with Transport Canada rules.

This won't come as a surprise to operators of CMVs. Similar rules have been in place south of the border for some time, and Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the coming implementation of a made-in-Canada regulation nearly two years ago.

… ELDs actually take the work out of capturing the use of vehicles.

On the surface, it may seem like just another hoop fleet managers need to jump through in order to keep doing business. The truth, however, is that ELDs benefit everyone—including drivers, hauling companies, and anyone who uses the road—and in fact do not impose any additional regulations on the trucking industry. By automating the logging process and ensuring more accurate data, certified ELDs actually take the work out of capturing the use of vehicles.

A longtime advocate for truckers and current Vice-President of Safety, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for Fleet Complete, industry veteran Marc Moncion believes most commercial drivers are proponents of ELDs, especially cross-border truckers who've already been using them to meet U.S. regulations.

"I've spoken to countless truckers and they love this technology. They say it's a godsend, that they don't ever want their ELDs taken away from them."

Marc Moncion, Vice-President of Safety, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, Fleet Complete

His chief concern is helping companies prepare for the upcoming change rather than waiting until the last minute. And the way to do that is through information. With that in mind, here are the five chief benefits, according to Moncion, that Canada's new ELD rule will bring to the industry.

Increased road safety—for everyone

This is the big one:  ELDs encourage safe driving by keeping an accurate, unalterable record of a vehicle's movement and operation. Rather than feeling the need to push beyond safe physical limits, truckers are incentivized to drive safely and rest as required knowing that they followed government rules. That means fewer accidents and a boon to the safety of everyone using the road.

Increased safety has business advantages, too. Fewer accidents can result in reduced costs for insurance, repair, and driver overhead. Plus, ELD monitoring can improve the accuracy of dispatch and delivery scheduling—a benefit for both you and your clients.

Enhanced operational efficiency and a better bottom line

Once you've rolled out your ELD solution across your fleet you'll likely find that you're instantly saving money. By eliminating paper logs, you'll be cutting away a time-sucking burden from your operation. It's one less task for drivers, meaning they can spend that much more time getting their shipments to their destinations.

As the ELD is used along with the Advanced fleet solution, drivers will be provided valuable intelligence such as live updates on traffic and detours as well as suggested routes to preferred fuel vendors. Advanced Fleet Management also provides information on truck status and maintenance, resulting in fewer breakdowns and mechanical issues and more time spent on the road. The end result is faster hauling with reduced expenses.

Enforced fairness across the industry

A key part of ELD enforcement is that it puts all companies on a level playing field. Every company and driver will be forced to follow the same rules. With certified ELD monitoring there's no getting around hours of service (HoS) regulations, so companies and drivers that in the past have won contracts and business by dodging safety protocols will be forced to either fall in line or face penalties and exit the industry.

The expected upshot of a fairer industry is that those who follow the rules and make proper use of ELD technology may find themselves in a position to improve the margin instead of trying to match the bids of haulers willing to save money on safety. And once you have third-party certified ELDs installed in your fleet, driver safety ratings are bound to go up, which in turn will invite less attention from government regulators.

Improved HoS Compliance

Truckers generally want to follow the rules and do a good job, but they're human and capable of developing bad habits or simply making mistakes when logging hours and tracking driving time. Since ELDs track these things automatically with up-to-the-minute precision, the chances of accidental HoS violations is reduced dramatically.

Third-party certified ELDs are configured to let drivers and fleet managers know in real time when an HoS violation has occurred or is about to take place, facilitating better trip planning and driver compliance. They also generate accurate and trustworthy printed or digital copies of a driver's record of duty status (RODS) to speed up roadside inspections.

A better team of truckers

Drivers are vital to the trucking industry, and fleet managers want only the best behind the wheels of their rigs. ELDs can help you attract and retain top truckers by showing them you're committed to running an efficient and compliant business. They will feel empowered to make better decisions, know that they will be evaluated based on objective performance standards, and have confidence that they will be paid fairly and accurately based on the hours they've logged.

What's more, the built-in connectivity of ELDs can inspire a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among drivers who otherwise spend long hours working alone. And it can even help in the event of an accident, providing digital evidence showing how the vehicle was maintained and operated at the time of the crash.

Canada's impending ELD rule is going to benefit everyone by creating safer road habits for truckers and improving efficiency within the companies that employ them. If you want to learn more about how ELDs work, what they can do and how to make sure your company is compliant before Transport Canada begins enforcing the new rules this summer, contact your Rogers representative or check out Rogers.com/ELD.