The era of paper records has come to an end. Within a few months, the trucking industry must begin electronically tracking truck and bus drivers per federal compliance requirements. On December 18, 2017, the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandate will go into effect. Known as the Electronic Logging Device Rule (ELD), the mandate is a long-awaited safety check to the industry and stands to make American roads much safer by forcing truckers to digitally log and report time spent behind the wheel. Fortunately, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help with this transition by linking ELDs and monitoring other fleet performance aspects to ensure compliance. IoT also stands to assist drivers themselves, making their jobs easier and taking the guesswork out of complying with the new mandate while on the road.
Costs associated with this transition may seem substantial at first glance, but implementing the right technology before the rule goes into effect will save truck companies thousands by allowing them to avoid noncompliance fees and penalties. While some drivers are less than excited about the transition, the FMCSA estimates show that the rule will prevent “20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year for an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million”.
Selecting IoT applications to meet compliance requirements will allow each truck on a fleet roster to link with long-range networks while on the road, granting fleet managers the ability to monitor each truck through the cloud, and providing them with remote assistance, if needed. This form of management could be especially helpful for safely implementing traffic-triggered reroutes or for monitoring weather conditions. Monitoring data in the clouds, along with alert systems, may even enhance security even further for sensitive loads.
If trucking companies see the shift to ELDs as the start of a new era for the industry, the transition could represent a significant money-making opportunity by increasing efficiency, decreasing time spent at check points, and making it easier to spot mechanical problems. IoT makes it possible to add sensors to monitor everything from engine efficiency and gas use to load conditions. Over time, data collected from these sensors can be analyzed digitally to identify where performance could be improved. Some monitoring applications also may improve safety, making it easier to plan for parts replacement, tire rotations, or transmission maintenance.
FMCSA Fleet Certification and Compliance
A cellular network is the best connection option for trucking fleets employing IoT. OverdriveOnline writes that the FMCSA requires ELDs to “transfer information for roadside inspection”, and this kind of network makes transfer possible at any point in a trucker’s journey. Cellular networks are easy to establish along regular truck routes and can provide nonstop connectivity for each IoT-linked device onboard.
In addition to transferring files, FMCSA’s new rule also requires ELDs to “record date, time, and location information; engine hours; vehicle miles; and ID information of the driver using the device. The devices must sync with its corresponding vehicle’s engine to record engine on and off times”. Further, ELDs must “produce graph grids of the trucker’s duties from day to day”. With machine to machine (M2M) communication between engines and ELDs, and with ELDs connected to the cloud, compliance certification virtually is guaranteed.
Aeris understands that new mandates can seem difficult at the outset, but with our customized IoT networks and solutions, your trucking company will cruise through the transition smoothly.
To learn more on ELDs and the new regulations, join us for an August 7th webinar.
Contact Aeris today to discuss your company’s vision for ELD compliance and get started with a new IoT network before the FMSCA’s Electronic Logging Device rule goes into effect.