Fleet Connectivity Basics: Compliance Mandates
By Sara Sweeney
February 3, 2021
Fleet regulatory requirements can put an undue burden on drivers, leading to diminished productivity. However, fleets across North America have found a solution for staying compliant without any interruptions to their operations. When fleets want to centralize their compliance mandate management, they rely on connectivity tools — through a plug-in device or direct with the OEM.
If you’re unaware of how connected vehicle technology is paving the way for fleet compliance, here are common applications:
Full-suite Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)
Not all Electronic Logging Ddevices (ELD) are created equal. Without a system to compile and track the data, you’re only completing one part of the compliance process. A proper ELD solution provides access to a robust dashboard that clearly displays hours of service so drivers and the fleet office can have a clear picture of the data. It also provides driver log reporting electronically to an inspection officer during an inspection. Gone are the days of the driver having to maintain and produce a paper logbook. The certified ELD device interfaces with the vehicle to capture the data needed for proper Record of Duty Status reporting.
In addition to proper installation and operation, the data needs to be tracked to ensure the drivers and their fleet have visibility to driver hours of service. This data can be used to keep the drivers and fleet complaint with the hours-of-service requirements and avoid violations. That’s where the added layer of vehicle connectivity comes in. In-app driver warning and alerts ensures drivers are aware of their limitations to help them stay on the right side of compliance.
For some clients, the use of a telematics device can help them see if they may be subject to ELD mandates. Using the GPS data, you can see if the operation of your vehicle meets any of the identified criteria that would make them subject to the mandate. Absent that data, you’ll be relying on “word of mouth” from employees who may not understand the negative consequences of getting this wrong.
Fleet Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports
Some methods of compliance are geared at ensuring the safety of drivers and everyone else on the road. Commercial motor vehicles that require the completion of a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) may find it difficult to keep track of the condition of their vehicle with every trip. This is especially true if it’s conducted on paper. The ELD Mandate now requires that any DVIR, which are required as part of operating a commercial vehicle, must now be done electronically and be available in the event of an inspection. The completion of the DVIR and any repairs needed as the result of a DVIR affords the fleet visibility to vehicle operating condition from the drivers that use the vehicle.
With a centralized compliance system, such as a dashboard for tracking the condition of the brakes, steering mechanism, tire, safety equipment and more — your drivers will be back on the road quickly. Through additional guidance on how to conduct the inspection, you’ll have more peace of mind that any inspections will pass with flying colors. This process is the easiest way to track DVIR along with your other compliance requirements — and thus avoid fines.
Accurate Odometer Data Or Personal Use Reporting
Fleet connectivity devices remove the hassle of reporting personal use miles to ensure proper driver tax compliance. With GPS tracking associated to the time of day or the user, it’s easy to determine who’s behind the wheel and how many miles/kilometers they’ve accrued on the vehicle. If your fleet policy has certain limitations regarding when and where employees and their designated users can operate the vehicle, those parameters can be notated on the app. This allows or alerts to be sent to the driver or the fleet office to inform everyone when they’re in danger of falling outside of compliance.
What other compliance mandates are interfering with your drivers’ productivity? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.