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New Fleet Management Rules Allow Exceptions

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Are you up to date on the exceptions to the official HOS (hours-of-service) regulations that went into effect on Sept. 29, 2020? Due to all the COVID-related business shutdowns, many people missed what otherwise would have been a major news story. Even so, it’s never too late to refresh the memory about the four exceptions. In fact, one of the main benefits of ELDs (electronic logging devices) are so indispensable is directly related to these exceptions and to the HOS rules in general.

What is the gist of the four HOS exceptions? The short-haul exception allows for 14-hour work shifts under specific conditions: the adverse driving conditions exception adds two hours to the already-existing bad-weather allowance, the 30-minute break requirement makes a half-hour break mandatory after eight successive hours of driving, and the sleeper berth provision allows drivers to spend seven of their off-duty hours inside the berth. In the major scheme of things, how do ELDs help fleet managers? Here are the ways that have the most impact on companies who run fleets of any size.

Prevents HOS Violations

Electronic logging devices are exceptionally good at helping fleet managers and drivers prevent hours-of-service violations. In the end, that means lower ELD compliance costs, which can turn into a substantial expense for companies that don’t use ELDs or use inefficient systems. ELD compliance solutions from reliable providers virtually eliminate all instances of exceeding the strict limits on hours-of-service for drivers in every industry, at every level of experience, and in all kinds of road conditions. Having a sophisticated device take care of all the precision logging details frees drivers from the burden of maintaining meticulous, hand written records.

Cuts Administrative Costs

Logging devices slash admin costs in a number of ways, primarily by helping relieve managers of cumbersome record keeping duties. When office personnel have more time, they can devote it to other chores like business development, interacting with drivers in real-time to address emergencies, etc.

Monitors Vehicle Maintenance Problems

Via built-in telematics technology, ELDs do a good job of keeping tabs on a whole range of vehicle maintenance checklist items like tire pressure, fuel usage, engine efficiency, and more. In a way, the devices are not well named because the word logging implies that that’s all they do, or that it’s the most important function they perform. The truth is, ELDs, and the technological systems of which they are a part, are multi-taskers of the best kind.

Spots Dangerous Driving Behavior

Another thing the devices can do is alert drivers and supervisors about dangerous vehicle operator habits, like excessive braking, slow braking, unusual changes in speed or acceleration, quick starts, turns that are too sharp or not sharp enough, weaving, inappropriate slowing, and dozens more.

Reduces Insurance Costs

One of the immediate financial returns of such systems is that they can significantly cut insurance premiums across the board for companies that operate large fleets. Even businesses with small fleets save on this expense category when they put a reliable logging system in place.

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