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How TMS Integration Can Help Small Carriers with ELD

If there is a group that has been greatly affected by the ELD Mandates, it’s small carriers. While most large carriers have been using ELDs since the late 2010s, smaller carriers have since had to be careful about investing in new equipment or procedures.

What Are the ELD Mandates?

In the United States, the ELD Mandate is a federal regulation that was enacted into law in the late 2010s, but it did not take full effect until 2018. 

As for Canada, Transportation Minister Marc Garneau announced an ELD Mandate in late 2019. It took full effect in June 2021, requiring most freight trucks to use these logging devices. 

While there were some exemptions in both of these rulings, the ELD Mandates have continued to affect small carriers in many ways.

What is an ELD?

An electronic logging device (ELD) is an electrical system that can be used to track a driver’s Hours of Service (HOS). An ELD connects directly with a vehicle’s engine to record an individual driver’s data, and it helps to improve road safety for all other drivers.

An ELD is designed to remove the need for paper logs, which can sometimes be manipulated or documented incorrectly. However, ELDs are not necessarily plug-and-play units, because most systems require several steps to be fully compliant with the ELD Mandates.

How Does TMS Work With ELD?

To begin collecting driver data, a TMS needs to communicate with an ELD. Since ELDs can easily be paired with a TMS, this is why they are considered to be better than paper logs. This also means that the driver information needed will be gathered and calculated automatically. 

Once the ELD is communicating with the TMS and has been plugged into a port on the truck’s dashboard, it can start consuming data based on this integration. The data collected is related to a driver’s Hours of Service. In other words, an ELD captures data like the number of hours a driver currently has logged on a vehicle for the day, and how long a driver has been on or off-duty. 

Why do Small Carriers Need ELD with TMS Integration?

An over-the-road truck driver takes on several tasks each day. However, one of their most important tasks is keeping proper track of their driving hours, rest breaks and other stops.

A truck’s driving log can also help to provide some evidence on accident claims. Since an ELD can’t be altered, the data collected can be analyzed to determine information like whether a driver was being responsible and taking breaks to rest, or if they violated driving time limits. Without access to such important information, just one accident could be enough to close down an entire small carrier’s operations.

Since driving logs are so important, an ELD with TMS integration is an essential tool for all of today’s over-the-road drivers.

Why is Having Access to an ELD with TMS Integration Important?

As of 2018 in the U.S., and June 2021 in Canada, the ELD mandate has been in full effect for all trucking companies, requiring them to manage driver logs and HOS. To make this process easier, TMS companies have worked to provide integration options with ELDs to create a more seamless workflow experience.

Here are just a few more reasons why having access to this technology is so important:

  1. An ELD with TMS integration can help reduce the amount of HOS paperwork drivers have to complete, saving a small carrier fleet time each day.
  2. It can accurately keep track of drive time because it records minute-by-minute. The data collected also includes time for rest breaks and other stops.
  3. It helps eliminate the human errors that could cost a small carrier, greatly.

Why is TMS Integration Crucial to a Small Carrier’s Success?

At Trimble Transportation, we understand that managing your small carrier fleet isn’t always easy. The paperwork, driving logs, reports, deadlines and customer demands can be overwhelming. With this in mind, what can a TMS solution do to help you run your business more efficiently? 

Our Innovative TMS solution, when integrated with an ELD, will give you greater control and visibility of your day-to-day tasks. Then, following just a few simple steps, you can access reports that show you where your operations stand. You’ll also be able to see where your drivers are located, which will help you with dispatching and route planning. 

Trimble Transportation is committed to helping small carriers stay in compliance and succeed with our robust software solutions. To learn more about how our Innovative TMS solution can help you, contact us today.