Fleet Owner published its annual “By the Numbers report” report last month. The story serves as a painful reminder of all it takes to operate a successful fleet in the face of rising trucking expenses today.
Between fuel costs, tractor-trailer purchases and maintenance, safety-related investments, and driver salaries and incentives, fleets are hard-pressed to remain profitable within the highly competitive trucking industry.
And, with the ELD mandate expected to take effect later this month, we get why many fleets are concerned about the additional cost they’ll now need to manage—and the worry that they won’t be able to absorb it, remain competitive, and turn a profit.
Well, we have some good news.
ELDs can help you drive down trucking expenses
ELDs aren’t the uphill financial battle you might first expect.
Fleets that have proactively adopted electronic logging devices ahead of the mandate aren’t experiencing a pinch to their bottom line. In fact, they’re realizing savings thanks to the benefits electronic driver logging technology delivers.
In our previous post on ELD benefits, we addressed a variety of time saving benefits. These are results that fleets can experience when equipped with Omnitracs’ Mobile Computing Platform (MCP) and using our Hours of Service (HOS) application.
Looking beyond those initial time savings benefits, fleets can also cut trucking expenses, too.
Virtually eliminate costly HOS violation fines
The use of ELDs ensures accurate recording of hours driven and eliminates form and manner errors that are inherent to manual entry.
Such errors can lead to HOS violations and costly fines, which can be as much as $11,000 and eat into your hard-earned profits.
Dramatically cut paper purchase and storage costs
When fleets discontinue the use of antiquated paper driver logs, they no longer have to purchase or store them, which can be costly. (According to FMCSA regulations, paper logs have to be saved for six months.)
Additionally, storing those logs can be a challenge when employees need to locate and access the logs for data checks or DOT audits.
And, when you multiply six months of paper driver logs for every truck driver in your fleet, the amount of paperwork can really add up.
Meanwhile, with an ELD, all of that critical Hours of Service information is stored in the cloud, which is easily accessible for review at any time, and doesn’t take up costly office space.
A recent FMCSA study estimated that ELD adoption would result in savings of $705/driver/year in paperwork costs alone.
And then there is the case to be made for out-of-service costs.
Avoid out-of-service costs
Often times, a truck driver or vehicle must be placed out-of-service for a severe violation. Once declared “out-of-service,” motor carriers may not require (or permit) a driver to operate the vehicle until the unacceptable conditions specified in the “out-of-service” notice have been corrected.
And, if a truck driver is sidelined, that means he or she is also not logging loaded miles or contributing to the company’s bottom line—all of which equates to lost revenue.
More profit in your pocket when you streamline trucking expenses
As fleets educate themselves on the benefits that ELDs provide, we’re confident they’ll come to recognize that they can improve their business efficiency, especially when it comes to reducing trucking expenses, while also complying with the pending FMCSA mandate on ELDs.