Electronic Logging Devices for trucks and busesTech Trends · Jan 3, 2017
If your business uses commercial vehicles to carry goods or passengers, you need to know about Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). That’s the message that came through loud and clear when I spoke to Tony Lourakis, CEO of Fleet Complete, a TELUS Internet of Things partner. “The days when truck and bus drivers kept manual, paper-based logs of their hours of service will soon be over,” he told me. “The US has already introduced legislation that will require almost every commercial vehicle in that country to be fitted with an ELD, and Canada is not far behind.”
For over 80 years, North American governments have been legislating the hours of service (HoS) drivers can work. But statistics show that today, as many as 30% of fatal truck accidents still involve fatigue. Clearly, more has to be done to enforce the rules, and Tony believes that the new legislation will make a significant difference.
“Yes, there are some instances where a driver or a company will push the envelope to get routes completed,” he told me. “But even those who are trying to obey the rules can find them complicated and difficult to follow. And there’s not just one set. There are different Federal, State, and Provincial regulations on each side of the border, and even differences within Canada, if you drive north or south of 60 degrees latitude. An ELD, combined with a fully-featured Hours of Service solution, will solve all these issues.”
TELUS Fleet Complete HoS does exactly that. Working with a vehicle’s ELD, it detects movement and automatically logs the driver “on duty”. For drivers, it is iOS and Android compatible, with an app that provides a real-time display of the hours worked and how much time is left in each work shift and cycle. That compatibility also makes it easy for drivers to share their logs with management by email or an app like Dropbox. They can even print their logs if they need to.
When it comes to compliance with different rules, TELUS Fleet Complete HoS makes it simple. “It includes over 20 US and Canadian inter- and intra-state/province and cross-border rules,” Tony told me. “We also update the rules regularly to make sure our customers are always in compliance.”
Saving time for everyone
Tony estimates that a driver spends about 15 minutes of every shift completing a manual log. If the vehicle has crossed the border, it can take even longer. Then there’s the vehicle inspection that drivers are required to complete before each trip. With TELUS Fleet Complete HoS, they simply follow the check-list on the app. Any issues are reported to the company’s service centre via the Fleet Complete mechanics portal, which allows mechanics to easily update the vehicle’s service record when the work has been done.
TELUS Fleet Complete HoS also speeds roadside inspections. With just a few taps on the smartphone screen, a driver can display all relevant logs, driver and vehicle inspection report charts and data, satisfying inspection requirements while locking away any private data.
By eliminating all the paperwork and concerns, TELUS Fleet Complete HoS allows every vehicle and driver to spend more time on the road.
Sharing shifts, sharing data, all made easy
I asked Tony what happens when there’s more than one-driver. He told me that TELUS Fleet Complete HoS is ready for any situation. “Drivers can share the app for a single trip, switching between ‘On Duty’, ‘Off Duty’ and ‘Sleeping Berth’ modes.”
There are benefits for the back office too, with seamless integration available for most backoffice applications like accounting software.
“The US ELD legislation takes effect in December, 2017 for motor carriers that have not deployed the technology by the mandated launch, and Canada will likely try to have its legislation introduced by then as well,” Tony said. “I know that some companies may be tempted to wait until then. But that’s not thinking ahead. The sooner they start installing ELDs and HoS solutions, the sooner their drivers can familiarize themselves with them, and the sooner the companies will begin to realize those very real business benefits.”
For more information about TELUS Fleet Complete Hours of Service solution, visit the TELUS IoT Marketplace.