The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate by the FMCSA is still something that is new and many were hoping that it would not come to pass. The technology world is scrambling to create a product that fulfills the requirements. As a result, most companies are offering a solution that barely meets the requirements and will fall short in the long term.
Most solutions currently being provided are a device that connects to the ECM of the truck, and then a tablet or phone connect to the device via Bluetooth or a wire. The problem that the trucking company will face is that if the tablet or phone turns off for whatever reason, they will lose all of the tracking data that they were needing for a great telematics solution. The tablet or phone is where the data is stored and being sent from, therefore, if it is not powered or Bluetooth disabled, the data is lost. During these times, the rule requires the driver to go back to paper logs, but this isn’t allowed to happen on a regular basis and the company can still be fined and that will lower CSA scores.
Another problem with many of the current solutions is data usage. Unless a company is paying for the employee-drivers phones, the employees will be responsible for the data usage of the ELD solution which could incur reimbursements. The cost of this could be more than the cost of a tablet with a cellular connection. If a company does provide a tablet with cellular coverage, the cost could be high on data usages if the device sends and receives large amounts of data.
Some companies are using some great tracking devices made by Calamp as part of their solution, but there are even issues with this type of solution because it’s still relying on the tablet/phone to store the ELD data that is then sent to the servers through the Calamp device. Once again, we are facing an issue where a device can be powered down, or unplugged and the data is lost. Many truck drivers will abuse this because of the negativity surrounding the use of ELD’s for Hours of Service.
National Fleet Tracking is a company leading the way for a superior ELD solution for Hours of Service and telematic data. The device plugs into the ECM of the truck, and it sends and receives the data from the cloud. Whenever cellular connectivity isn’t available, the device logs the data until it can send it to the cloud. A tablet or cellular phone is only used as peripheral for the driver to interact with the device. Therefore, the weight of the solution lies on the device rather than on the tablet or another device that can lose power, be turned off, or disconnected in some way.
When reliability, low cost, and critical data gain are important to your transportation business, you can trust National Fleet Tracking to provide it all with ease. Have great solutions to issues critical to your business is great, but it’s our great customer service and support that keep our customer retention so high.