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An Unbiased Guide to ELD Implementation for Trucking Companies

Truck Driver with computerWith the apparent impending passing of regulation mandating the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) late next year in Canada, many Canadian trucking companies are only just now beginning to search out solutions to comply. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, the market place is full of solution providers.

Starting down the road to ELD (or ELOG) implementation can be fraught with challenges and pitfalls. While there is certainly getting to be more and more information available online and from other sources, often times this information and advice is being provided by ELD providers and is, ultimately, slanted to selling their product.

This blog is intended to the relay our experience of implementing ELD’s in a small Canadian trucking company. It is an unbiased set of suggestions and lessons learned (sometimes the hard way) about what you might want to consider when going through the process of ELOG implementation.

Included in this Blog will be access to our suggestions for:

  Part 1 - ELOGs versus EOBRs - what's the difference?

  Part 2 - Operational realities (and opportunities) of moving to ELOGs.

  Part 3 - Finding a software and hardware supplier;

  Part 4 - Implementation and Driver buy-in;

  Part 5 - Harnessing the Power of an ELOG/Telematics System

  Part 6 - Telematics Features and Capabilities

 

Part 1 - ELOGs Versus EOBRs - What's the Difference?

 

An ELOG and an EOBR (Electronic Onboard Recording device) are two very different things - although both may be rolled into one package. From a regulation standpoint, the government is finalizing the requirement for an ELOG, or electronic logbook, not an EOBR.

From a very basic standpoint, to comply with the upcoming regulation, you need an ELOG (Electronic Logbook), aka an ELD (Electronic Logging Device), to take the place of your drivers' paper logbook. Nothing more. There are many companies producing a straight forward ELOG product that, so long as it meets the requirements pending in regulation, is all you need to comply.

There are also products (EOBR's) that provide telematics data. This is the data that is often used in the back-office by management and operations staff to analyze the data flowing out of your truck to understand things like:

  - Driver behaviour and performance (Driver Scorecard)

  - Cycle times

  - Time spent at locations (customer or receiver delays)

  - Fuel consumption and idle time

Make no mistake, this data is very powerful and can often be very useful in improving your trucking operation. That said, it nearly always comes at an additional cost, and requires a commitment from management that the data being gathered will actually be used for something. The ability to pull a report that is never pulled is a bit redundant, don't you think?

More and more, the ELD and EOBR are being packaged together as one product - or, as one product with modules that can be added on with the features you like. Many software companies in this space really started out as developers of EOBR systems designed to provide telematics information to trucking company management and have simply added on an ELOG option to comply with upcoming regulation and retain market share. Look at the product carefully as these may be stronger in telematics and late to the game in developing a good ELOG solution.

On the other hand, companies whose sole initial purpose is to develop an ELOG solution to take advantage of a rising tide marketplace, may be well behind in developing the telematics pieces that you may be looking for to provide operational information.

There are companies out there who balance both an excellent ELOG system along with strong telematics data. Best advice - do your homework.

 

If you found what you’ve just read to be valuable, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading the other five parts of this blog series. You can fill out the simple form below and I’ll be happy to email you a PDF of all 6 parts of this series.

Our journey to implement electronic logbooks in all our trucks was not without its ups and downs. Certainly, the most challenging part was getting all our drivers to embrace and use the new technology. If you want to have a chat sometime about how we went about getting buy in from all our drivers feel free to give me a call at 250.828.2821 or drop me an email gmunden@mundentrucking.ca.

All the best, Greg Munden.  

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