Take the Sting out of ELD

Engineering the Best ELD Solution on the Market

June 28, 2017 | Robert Isler | ,

In less than six months, ELDs are officially replacing paper logs. But you already know that.

What you might not know, is that ELDs aren’t tested and certified by the FMCSA. They’re actually self-certified, which means manufacturers are responsible for testing their own ELDs by following all 444 pages of the ELD Test Plan and Procedures. So, how well do you trust your provider?

Shortly after the ELD Final Rule was published in December, 2015, we started meticulously reviewing and implementing the requirements. The result is an ELD solution that’s reliable, ensures you’ll be compliant, and delivers more value than typical ELD solutions on the market.

Simplifying the Switch to ELDs

We understand your concerns. This is yet another regulation in an industry that’s already over-regulated. Many of you have spoken about the potential negative impact on productivity. The cost of making the switch is a burden you could do without. Invasion of privacy is top of mind for many of your drivers, and the learning curve for a new system is an issue for some.

We can’t make all those concerns disappear (no one can), but we can give you a top notch ELD solution with powerful functionality that works like a charm, and makes the transition as smooth as possible.

Our ELD solution is built into Field Warrior®, the app for your mobile workforce. Field Warrior® improves your fleet’s daily operations with features like 2-way messaging, digital manifests, turn-by-turn navigation, driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs), custom forms with signature and image capture, and more.

Field Warrior® is flexible, allowing you to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). And the Field Warrior® ELD update is coming to Android, iOS, and Garmin, so you aren’t tied down to a particular device or operating system.

FMCSA Compliant – Past, Present, and Future

If you currently use AOBRDs, you’re permitted to continue using them until December 16, 2019 – two years after the ELD mandate goes into effect.

But what makes ELDs different than AOBRDs?

ELDs are basically the next incarnation of AOBRDs. Both devices connect to a vehicle’s ECM and record Hours of Service, but an ELD’s refined rules add specificity about how the device must handle certain driving events, device error situations, and ECM data.

Among the similarities, are the recording of dates and times, vehicle miles, and locations. But an ELD is required to have access to engine power, vehicle speed, odometer readings, engine hours, and more. Both devices are also required to limit how drivers can modify logs to help prevent tampering.

We released our first electronic logbook solution – an FMCSA compliant AOBRD for Garmin devices – over five years ago, and we expanded to Android devices shortly after.

When the ELD rules were published, we were already capturing the additional ECM data for our customers. Our successful history with electronic logbooks and ECM-connected GPS modems gave us a head start on creating an excellent ELD solution that’s dependable and compliant with the ELD mandate.

Ensuring Your Compliance with a Proactive Approach

The FMCSA provides detailed procedures that tell ELD manufacturers exactly how to test their ELDs for compliance. It essentially outlines what the FMCSA would be looking at if they were to verify compliance for themselves. Yes, if.

The FMCSA isn’t verifying whether or not each ELD manufacturer that claims to be compliant is actually compliant. Evaluations for compliance will only be performed by the FMCSA on a case by case basis.

Of course, we self-audited our ELD solution anyways, holding ourselves to the same standards that the FMCSA would.

So what’s the big deal? Isn’t every ELD provider doing that? The short answer is no. Registering as a certified ELD provider with the FMCSA is currently based on the honor system. Some providers are taking advantage of the loose registration process, making it difficult to trust the validity of the FMCSA’s list of registered ELDs.

If the FMCSA decides to audit an ELD provider that didn’t fully perform the testing procedures themselves, it could end up hurting fleets using that provider’s ELD – something our customers will never have to worry about.

Peace of Mind with the Most Reliable ECM Connectivity

Some manufacturers are using Bluetooth to connect their ELD to a vehicle’s engine. That might sound fancy, but Bluetooth can introduce security holes and problems with data integrity. You want your ELD connection to be accurate and reliable. It’s possible for a Bluetooth connection to pair an ELD to the wrong vehicle, resulting in incorrect data and more than one vehicle being thrown out of compliance. For ELD manufacturers, Bluetooth is quick to implement but tricky to get right.

Our ELD solution utilizes a specialized cable for a physical connection that makes sure your ELDs are always connected to the right vehicle. The cable also powers the ELD and keeps it fully charged, greatly reducing the chance that your ELD’s battery will die. It’s a minor detail that has a major impact.

We’re Always Learning from You and Improving

We pride ourselves on building intuitive, user-friendly apps, but we don’t assume to know more than our customers. You use our products every day. And the reason we’re able to create products that are easy to learn, and make sense for your business, is that we don’t just listen to your feedback, we’re guided by it.

Robert Isler

Robert Isler has extensive market research experience conducting surveys and exploring marketplace trends. He is currently a senior content writer for Forward Thinking Systems where he focuses on fleet industry best practices, regulations, and future outlook.

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