LOUISVILLE, KY – With the U.S. approaching mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs), and Canada expected to follow suit, Continental Commercial Vehicles and Aftermarket is posing questions that should be asked when choosing suppliers. Among them:
How much experience does the supplier have? The technology may be relatively new, but some companies already have experience with the devices and the new rules which guide them. Check to see if a provider offered insights to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) during the rulemaking process, or participated in the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.
What is the cost of ownership? Pricing models vary. “Some require fees and contract commitments, while others are available with no monthly fees or contracts,” Continental says.
Is this ELD self-certified? Suppliers need to self-certify ELDs to ensure they meet FMCSA requirements. “As regulations change, the FMCSA may evaluate ELD suppliers to verify that their ELDs are actually compliant,” Continental adds. “As a result, a supplier should be considered for its long-term viability and ability to ensure ELD compliance over the long term.”
Does the supplier have a system that can expand as a fleet grows? Challenges with adding vehicles or drivers to a system will be measured in time and money.
Where exactly do you operate? The rules in the U.S. are not the only ones to consider, of course. News of a Canadian mandate is still forthcoming. Other rules apply to oil field operations in the U.S. “Choose a supplier that can provide software that will keep your operation in compliance wherever a driver may be, and without incurring any additional costs,” Continental says.
The published U.S. rules allow for smart phones and other wireless devices to be used as ELDs, but only if they meet technical specifications, are certified, and listed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/elds. Automatic On-Board Recording Devices that have already been installed can be used for two years beyond the Dec. 18, 2017 compliance date.