How ELDs improve fleet safety
Published on April 6, 2021
It’s no secret the hours of service (HOS) rules for drivers are designed to maximize safety on the road. It’s why electronic logging devices (ELDs) have been mandatory in the U.S. and why the Canadian government is following suit. With the Canadian ELD regulation becoming law in June, it’s important fleets select an ELD provider that’s both reliable and built to deliver the correct HOS data. While ELDs are a great way to track vehicles, optimize routes and communicate with drivers, their ultimate purpose is safety. Along with monitoring HOS rules, ELDs take safety measures to the next level with added features to keep everyone safe on the road.
Automated Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR)
Pre and post-trip vehicle inspections are one of the most disliked parts of a driver’s day. Before hitting the highway, drivers must do a thorough walk-through of their vehicle to ensure everything is in good working order. With the help of an ELD, drivers are prompted with a DVIR reminder along with a complete list of items to check. A typical vehicle inspection includes equipment such as brakes, mirrors, lights, and tires. All drivers must perform a DVIR and submit any issues that need to be addressed. Conducting a DVIR is just one way motor carriers can do their part to keep roads as safe as possible.
Hours of service notifications (HOS)
Trying to keep track of the HOS regulations in Canada and the US can be difficult for even the most experienced drivers. Before ELDs, drivers kept track of their hours of service using paper logs. Everything from time spent driving to breaks and logging into sleeper birth mode was recorded in 15-minute increments. With paper, drivers had to get creative about setting reminders to take breaks during their shift. Oftentimes, drivers overextend themselves leading to fatigue and potential accidents. One of the biggest reasons behind the ELD mandate in Canada and the US is to avoid driver fatigue. As you can imagine, paper logs can be easily tampered with. But with an ELD, engine data is tracked to the second allowing drivers to focus on driving rather than making guesstimates.
When you run a fleet of vehicles, it’s hard to monitor the behaviours of each driver. Some drivers may have a heavy foot while others are hard on the brakes. Oftentimes, companies don’t know about poor driving habits until someone on the outside complains or there’s an accident. When you don’t have an ELD on your side, the event in question is left to someone’s word against another’s. Depending on the situation, this could lead to costly lawyer expenses, not to mention vehicle maintenance costs.
With an ELD, fleet managers can set their own rules for drivers to follow. Once installed, the ELD gathers engine information including speeding, harsh cornering, and hard braking. The customizable rules can alert drivers (beeping, text message…etc.) when they’re speeding, idling, or taking a corner too sharp so they can correct their behaviour. Not only does this type of coaching keep streets safer, but it also directly benefits the lifecycle of your fleet.
To compliment Geotab’s driver coaching alerts, we also offer other driver feedback products such as the GO TALK and IOX-BUZZ. Both products are built to amplify the in-vehicle audio to ensure the driver receives the alert.
Seat belt notifications
Depending on the Geotab rate plan you select, fleets can take their safety a step further with the seat belt notification. Customized rulesets can alert drivers and fleet managers when a seat belt is unbuckled while the vehicle is in motion. Fleet operators can set mandatory seat belt use above a certain speed and use the data to correct driver behaviour. Making sure your drivers are wearing seat belts is a simple way to ensure safety and prevent serious injury.
The U.S. and Canadian ELD mandates are designed to improve safety and prevent vehicle accidents. The Geotab electronic logging device is a powerful tool that not only tracks hours of service but offers added fleet safety features. With more than two million devices on the road, Geotab is recognized worldwide for its vehicle telematics solutions. Fleets of all sizes can take proactive measures to reduce collisions and minimize vehicle maintenance costs with the complete Geotab ELD solution.
Client Solutions Specialist – Team Lead