Electronic Logging Devices add efficiency to Hours of Service compliance

This new device saves time for drivers and money for employers

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Trucker crossing bridge in B.C., Highway 16, (Robson River Bridge),  and uses ELD.

Professional drivers—such as the one crossing the Robson River Bridge on Highway 16 pictured above—can benefit from using an ELD. — Photo courtesy TranBC

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is a relatively new electronic device that enables truck drivers and commercial motor carriers to track their Hours of Service (HOS) compliance without the hassle of filling out paperwork and submitting their records.

Canadian Commercial Driver License professionals are required to keep a Record of Duty Status (RODS) and will be forced by the Government of Canada to use an ELD to document their compliance with HOS rules by 2020. The devices are already mandatory for Canadian drivers crossing into the United States because the technology has been required from companies and drivers since December 2017. The government’s official ruling in favour for ELDs outlines technical and performance specifications that define exactly what the current and future devices must feature. 

ELDs, like those produced by Intelligent Telematics Inc. and Trimble, range from an annualized price of $165 to $832, with the most popular device used today priced at $495 per truck. Many providers are introducing less expensive fleet management system models that have features designed specifically for the ELD mandate. An estimated 20 hours or more of driving time is wasted each year by filling out and submitting paper driver logs.

Electronic Logging Devices connect to the truck’s engine to record if the truck is in motion, while allowing the driver to log in and select “On-duty,” “Off-duty,” or “On-Duty Not Driving.” Driving segments are automatically selected for the driver based on their vehicle’s movements.
The devices graphically display a driver’s RODS, so they can quickly see their worked hours for that day. Companies and their employees are provided with data in a format that’s standardized and can be transmitted to law enforcement in a number of prescribed ways, such as wireless web services, USB or Bluetooth 2.0.

With the introduction of ELDs that run on smartphones or tablets as opposed to fixed hardware, implementation costs can be further reduced.

ELDs support rounding up to the nearest minute instead of the 15-minute intervals required by paper driver log books.

These fleet management systems have the capacity for several additional benefits that cut costs for companies that choose to implement them. Fuel costs are decreased through incentive programs developed by fleets with information on excessive truck idle times or speeding events (monitored by all ELDs). Fleet management system users can also see reduced vehicle downtimes of approximately 15 per cent and improved vehicle utilization of around 13 per cent, thanks to the ELD’s monitoring capabilities.
While fleets work to comply with the ELD mandate, regulations such as Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports and International Fuel Tax Agreement can also be easily satisfied.

For more information about ELDs and how they can benefit companies and their employees, visit the official ELD Facts website or the BC Trucking association website.

Zoë Dupley

Zoë Dupley hopes to share her love of storytelling, and properly communicate the passions of those she interviews. When she isn't hiking in the Rocky Mountains, she is working on her latest sewing project or reading The Lord of the Rings. View all of Zoë Dupley’s articles

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