Change, Change, Change

2013 seems to have brought more questions than answers to the table of trucking companies, thanks in a large part to Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. USDOT’s progress on implementing the requirements of MAP-21 have been slow and tedious. The area of Map-21 that is of particular concern to trucking companies is the mandate for electronic on-board recorders. 2013 has been filled with missed final rule deadlines, court injunctions trying to block the mandate and senate subcommittee hearings questioning the validity of the studies used to pass the bill that mandates EOBR/ELDs.

It’s been more than seven months of waiting on the proposed Electronic Logging Device rule mandate, and it  is looking like the rule has cleared the White House’s office of Management and Budget. With this in motion it seems as though a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published by the end of the month.

This new rule has four parts, according to the DOT:

  1. Requiring drivers now required to keep records of duty status to use an Electronic Logging Device (aka Electronic Onboard Recorder)
  2. Detailing performance and design standards of the devices
  3. Noting supporting documents drivers will still need to carry
  4. Addressing driver harassment concerns

The Department of Transportation released its monthly report updating the progress of rulemakings March 11. The projected date to clear OMB is March 28 and will be published April 9.

While it is easy to take a negative approach when it comes to reviewing the bill, it is becoming more and more apparent that companies are embracing the EOBR/ELD technology for its efficiencies. The idea that companies can save time and money by embracing EOBR/ELDs seemed far-fetched a few years ago. The leaders in transportation are saving time and are able to streamline their operations using EOBR/ELD technologies that are leading to safer, productive and more efficient operations. Fleets need faster, more convenient access to reliable information to find efficiencies in order to survive or gain a competitive advantage. The initial resistance to EOBR/ELDs is giving way to more efficient and profitable companies in the industry.

ELD Aren’t Meant to be Big Brother

When approaching the idea of wanting an ELD system for your fleets, most drivers will comment on “Big Brother” and how he is watching you. We think Big Brother has gotten a bad rap ever since George Orwell’s publication 1984. It isn’t as if fleet managers and fleet owners are trying to be “Big Brother,” but if studied, most businesses have a “Big Brother” approach.

An ELD isn't about getting a driver in trouble or micro managing a fleet, it is a tool that can help increase productivity.

An ELD isn’t about getting a driver in trouble or micro managing a fleet, it is a tool that can help increase productivity.

  • Customer support agents have their calls recorded for quality control
  • Sales managers listen in or watch demos their team are providing to help improve sales approaches
  • Golfers video tape their swings to spot flaws and make adjustments to improve

If you’re a fleet owner who is afraid of the employee pushback on the purchase of an ELD, the truth is for decades there has been some kind of job performance reviews to help better the employee, company and industry. Sometimes it is as simple as a person being aware of their actions, because most don’t usually realize something is wrong until it’s pointed out.

An ELD isn’t about getting a driver in trouble or micro managing a fleet, it is a tool that can help increase productivity. Example, if your company is wanting to increase the delivery status statistics, the load tracking feature of an ELD would be able to handle that without a driver having to call in at every stop. With taking that off the plate of the driver and having it electronically, your company’s delivery rates will go up. Everyone wins when all the goals and accomplishments align with ALL parties who participate.

You don’t have to go all “Big Brother” on your fleets to ensure the best customer experience, use a tool that will help your company become more effective and efficient to ensure the bottom line is met by everyone on the forefront.

NEW EOBR from uDrove!

The U.S. Congress has passed the MAP 21 Transportation bill that requires drivers to track their hours of service using electronic logging devices. All truck drivers in the U.S. and Canada who drive more than 100 air miles from their home base must maintain driver logs. These logs are monitored by federal authorities to ensure that drivers are not exceeding their time on duty or driving hours. An Electronic On Board Recorder (EOBR) fleet solution automates Hours of Service reporting.  If you are required to file a record of duty status (RODS), this mandate affects you.

When the FMCSA first made its cost assumptions for requiring the use of EOBR, it used a popular device in the marketplace that a number of large fleets had adopted as a fleet management and electronic logging solution. The price for the hardware of this device was estimated at $1,675, according to the Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis. Smaller companies and owner operators that wanted a Fleet Management System to help reduce operating expenses, simplify business management, and improve driver habits could never justify the expense of purchasing the equipment, or committing to a long term contract. uDrove has built a solution for companies that is affordable and easy to use, minus the contracts.

While implementing an EOBR system in your fleet does require an initial investment, the long term benefits outweigh the costs incurred up front. Hours Of  Service violations are virtually eliminated and Fuel/Mileage tracking is done electronically, simplifying IFTA reporting and reducing driver error.  Not only does uDrove eliminate driver error but we have integrated with PC Miler to give our customers access to real-time date for a single truck, a group of trucks, or an entire fleet’s in-state and interstate mileage, with automated reports for fast and efficient compliance with state and federal tax regulations.

Using smart phone technology, drivers can also maintain their fuel and business expenses electronically. By taking a picture of fuel and expense receipts, anything a driver spends money on can be captured and kept on their web account at uDrove.com.

uDrove provides companies a simple, cost-effective solution that truckers can purchase pre-mandate, and still have it make sense financially. They came into the market well before the MAP 21 Transportation bill was proposed and passed. With the data received from the EOBR and the capabilities of the smart phone, companies realize their R.O.I. (return on investment) almost instantly.

For more information on uDrove’s EOBR please contact 888-983-7683 or visit eobr.udrove.com