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ELD Mandate: 8 Keys to Success

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eld mandate complianceThe ELD mandate is fast approaching. On December 18, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will require most fleets that are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) to record Hours of Service (HOS) using electronic logging devices (ELDs). Fleets with existing Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs) will have until December 2019 to upgrade to ELDs. There are plenty of ELD benefits beyond compliance, while the consequences of non-compliance range from heavy fines to expensive time spent off the road for drivers.

There is still time to get compliant, but with so many vendors to choose from, where do you start? Many providers will offer you the bare minimum to get compliant, but far fewer offer a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that includes features that are designed to actually save you money over the long term with your ELD investment.

Luckily there are a collection of ELD solution features to look for that will help you quickly separate the leaders from the pretenders.

Here are 8 ELD mandate essentials to look for:

1. FMCSA Certification

The FMCSA requires device manufacturers to register and certify they are up-to-date with the technical specifications of the ELD ruling. Established players have already prepared, developed and tested their ELD solution, and should be a registered and self-certified with the FMCSA. (FMCSA ELD online registry)

FMCSA ELD registry

2. Affordability and Choice

The right ELD provider understands that different fleets have different needs. For fleets looking solely for compliance, looks for a product that meets the mandate requirements with features such as an intuitive driver interface, instant logbook Information, in-cab edits, truck-specific navigation and an Hours of Service (HOS) advisor. Safety and compliance managers will look for features like driver messaging, electronic DVIR, simple log editing – preferably built on Android so that you can bring your own tablet.

For customers looking for a greater ROI on their ELD investment, look for a full telematics solution includes all the ELD features covered above, plus driver performance scoring, jobs and workflow, and vehicle analytics.

ORBCOMM's Blue Tree system is the only ELD product with a built-in HOS Advisor for drivers to maximize hours based on their current working day/cycle.

ORBCOMM’s Blue Tree system is the only ELD product with a built-in HOS Advisor for drivers to maximize hours based on their current working day/cycle.

3. A Flexible AOBRD Transition Plan

Some fleets have already chosen to buy AOBRDs instead of ELDs before December 18, 2017. If carriers install these before the deadline, they will have an additional two years until December 2019 to comply with the ELD mandate when their AOBRDs must be replaced by ELDs.

Your provider should offer you the flexibility of charting the ELD compliance course that works for your business. Many fleet managers don’t know that you can transform your AOBRD into an ELD by the December 2019 update with over-the-air updates. With this approach, there is no need for new hardware or in-cab installation.

4. Fast Training and Setup

It’s no secret that some drivers are less than enthusiastic with the ELD mandate, so straightforward training and intuitive technology is a must to easy and seamless adoption. Drivers and office staff alike should be able to leverage user-friendly technology to get up to speed and onboarded using little more than a smartphone.

ORBCOMM's Blue Tree Systems FleetManager.com lets users get to the HOS data they need quickly and easily, through a simpler user interface, overall system speed.

FleetManager.com from ORBCOMM/Blue Tree lets users get to the HOS data they need quickly and easily, through a simpler user interface, overall system speed.

5. Easy Installation

Insist on a professional install time to avoid any undue delays in getting your ELD solution deployed quickly. ELD device installation per truck should be measured in minutes, not hours.

6. Proven Experience

Plenty of fly by night providers have jumped the ELD bandwagon, but far fewer have decades of experience in the trucking industry. Couple that with the engineering and customer support resources to meet your evolving fleet management needs over time.

7. Plays Well with Others

Make the most of your big data and get a centralized view into your fleet operations by choosing an ELD solution provider that integrates seamlessly with leading transport management systems (TMS) such as McLeod Software, TMW, ICC (Innovative), Ditat and others.

TMS system integration for ELDs

Integration with transport management systems like McLeod Software and TMW allow fleets to make better and faster use of the data collected.

8. A Comprehensive, One-Stop Provider

ELD compliance may be your most pressing need, but consider your long-term transportation solutions requirements when selecting an ELD solution provider. Imagine the costs and complexities you can avoid by choosing a provider with an integrated offering encompassing nearly all transportation assets— consolidated in-cab, dry and refrigerated transportation solutions— from one source.

In October 2017, ORBCOMM acquired BlueTree Systems, a world-class transportation management solution provider with the most advanced and user friendly ELD/HOS solution on the market for medium to large sized fleets. Learn More here  and watch the video below to learn why Navajo Express has chosen Blue Tree as their ELD vendor.

To learn more about ORBCOMM’s ELD, trailer tracking and cold chain monitoring solutions, email us at sales@orbcomm.com.

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Mark Kuiack

Mark Kuiack is Director of Digital Marketing for ORBCOMM. He is responsible for the strategic direction of ORBCOMM's web and social media presence, and has over 15 years of experience in marketing and writing about various technology applications.

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