In December 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a long-awaited rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) to record hours-of-service (HOS) data.
Carriers and operators have a two-year compliance window to adopt ELDs with the mandate beginning in December of 2017, according to Fleet Owner. The two-year window also allows manufacturers time to produce devices and systems that are compliant with the technology specifications outlined in the rule.
The Ruan Solution
Since Ruan made the investment in and implemented PeopleNet ELDs in 2012, our experts have gained invaluable experience and knowledge in their use for compliance and identifying efficiencies. Our background with ELDs will make the 2017 transition seamless for our customer partners.
Ruan’s PeopleNet solution automates the tracking of HOS, an important regulatory and safety concern for transporters. The system activates time tracking once the truck is put into motion and provides an automatic arrival time when the truck arrives at its delivery point—information that can be sent in real time to customers and to Ruan. The driver’s drive time, on-duty time and total number of hours worked per week are all recorded by the PeopleNet system. Therefore, it is easy for the driver to see when he or she is approaching HOS limits.
In addition, our PeopleNet solution is a single platform that offers several additional capabilities, including data capture and communication, ECM integration, driver monitoring and GPS.
“This platform facilitates electronic log compliance and electronic DVIRs, but it can also compare vehicle speed to posted speed limits, and ECM integration lets us monitor at-risk behavior like hard braking or instability,” said Vice President of Safety Lisa Gonnerman. “The device continually monitors the tractor’s engine to identify fault codes that need immediate attention. And, it provides two-way communication with the driver without the use of a cell phone—a key safety feature.”
Fleets not currently using ELDs face an uphill battle in the next 21 months to research vendors, raise the capital for such a large investment, implement the technology and train drivers. Ruan’s Dedicated Contract Transportation (DCT) customers already benefit from the efficiencies of our ELDs, and they will continue to do so after the mandate takes effect, despite a few upgrades that may be made to our current PeopleNet units to comply with specifications of the mandate.
The ELD Mandate
The ruling outlines how data is transferred roadside, what supporting documents must be maintained, how long a unit can be broken down, what edits a driver can make on the log, and how time will be logged for yard moves and other events. Ruan’s safety and compliance teams are reviewing the final rule and working with our vendors to transition in the new requirements.
The mandate will impact approximately 3 million commercial drivers, and the FMCSA estimates it will result in an annual benefit of nearly $1 billion, largely by reducing paperwork. Roadside law enforcement personnel will also save time reviewing driver records during stops.
In addition, FMCSA expects the mandate to have safety benefits. Annually, the use of ELDs could save 26 lives and prevent 1,844 crashes, according to Fleet Owner, because it will be more difficult for drivers to drive past HOS limits.
The rulemaking includes strict rules prohibiting driver harassment by providing procedural and technical provisions that prevent harassment from ELD data. A separate FMCSA rulemaking that went into effect January 29 further protects drivers from being coerced to violate HOS regulations. The coercion rule implements procedures for commercial drivers to report to the FMCSA incidents of coercion, as well as penalties that may be imposed on carriers that coerce drivers, according to Fleet Owner.