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How Can an ELD with TMS Benefit Small Carriers?

Small fleet managers can be wary of investing in new technology. Without proof of how electronic logging devices (ELDs) or transportation management systems (TMSs) can improve their bottom line, they might be written off as unnecessary. However, with the current ELD mandate, fleets of every size now must equip their vehicles with ELDs. 

While some managers may choose the most basic ELD option to maintain compliance, small fleets can reduce paperwork and improve overall efficiency by selecting an ELD with TMS integration. 

Learn more about ELDs with TMS, including how they work and how they can help your trucking business. 

What Is an ELD with TMS? 

An ELD automatically records hours of service (HOS) data. In the United States, the FMCSA enacted the ELD mandate in 2019. The ELD mandate requires all CDL drivers to use electronic monitoring devices to log HOS rather than using traditional paper logs. ELDs connect directly to a truck’s engine to record driver data, including driving time, location, and the number of miles traveled. 

TMS helps trucking companies manage many aspects of their operations. A truck TMS records and relays data for IFTA compliance, route planning, dispatch, repair and maintenance, and more. Trucking companies can then use this data to streamline operations and connect all aspects of their businesses. 

An ELD paired with a TMS makes it easy for trucking companies to capture driver data and generate automatic reports automatically. With an ELD with TMS integration, trucking companies not only can ensure compliance with the ELD mandate but optimize efficiency. 

How Does TMS Work with ELD? 

Many of the best ELD devices for small fleets allow for TMS integration. Since trucking companies can also use much of the same information recorded by ELDs to manage their businesses, adding a TMS will enable them to include driver data in vital reports. 

After pairing, the ELD communicates with the TMS to record a driver’s HOS, track shipments in real time, generate route maps, and eliminate paperwork errors. Since using an ELD is legally required, adding TMS integration can add value to small fleets looking for a cost-effective way to improve efficiency. 

5 Advantages of an ELD with TMS

Trucking companies gain several advantages when using an ELD with TMS integration. These five benefits can help small fleet managers save time and ensure compliance so their trucking business can thrive. 

Reducing Driver Paperwork

Complying with HOS regulations is essential to a truck driver’s job. Since the ELD mandate has gone into effect, drivers no longer have to spend valuable time maintaining their HOS logs. An ELD with TMS takes this benefit even further by uploading ELD data to the company’s larger TMS. 

Eliminating Human Errors

Accurate driver logs are not only important for internal decision-making within a trucking company; they are also legally required. Miscalculations and recording errors can lead to unnecessary downtime and fines. With ELDs with TMS, the chance of HOS data errors are virtually nonexistent since all information is recorded in real time to create automatic reports. 

Accurately Keeping Track of Drive Time

Keeping track of drive time and rest time is an essential part of HOS regulations. An ELD with TMS integration can automatically record mileage and changes a driver’s duty status if the vehicle hasn’t moved in more than six minutes. Traditional paper logs would also only record non-driving time to the nearest 15 minutes, but an ELD can round to the nearest minute for added accuracy. 

Expedited Inspections

An ELD with TMS can also make inspections easier since all vital vehicle information and route documentation is recorded in one place. When it comes time for HOS or vehicle maintenance inspections, a fleet manager or driver can pull up all the necessary data for their vehicle in seconds rather than searching for paper copies. 

Keeping Drivers in Compliance

Staying in compliance with FMCSA HOS regulations keeps drivers and the general public safe from tired and distracted drivers. With an ELD with TMS, drivers can accurately track their driving and break time with virtually no effort. 

Current HOS regulations dictate that a load-carrying truck driver not exceed 11 hours of drive time in a 14-hour period and is required to be off-duty for 10 consecutive hours before returning to on-duty status. These and other HOS rules are designed to improve highway safety for all. 

Improve Fleet Efficiency with ELDs with TMS

Managing a small fleet can be demanding. By equipping your trucks with ELDs with TMS integration, you can ensure HOS compliance while streamlining back-office reporting. Plus, accurate and up-to-date trip data can help you with dispatching and making overall better business decisions. Take charge of your business and add ELDs with TMS integration to every vehicle in your fleet.


Can an ELD Be Edited?

In limited scenarios, an ELD can be edited in accordance with FMCSA regulations. If a driver logs time incorrectly, they may include an edit with a note explaining the reason for the revision while keeping the original unedited record intact. Then drivers must resubmit the edited log with the note and the original record together for HOS compliance. 

What Happens if You Disconnect ELD?

Unplugging your ELD is never a good idea. Most ELDs have tamper-evident features that alert your fleet manager that it’s not connected, and there are large fines for non-compliance with the ELD mandate. At best, you would be reprimanded by your employer, but you can also face termination and FMCSA fines.

Does an ELD Track Location?

ELDs automatically record driver data which includes location information. To comply with the ELD mandate, an ELD must record a truck’s location at 60-minute intervals while the vehicle is in motion, as well as the location where the engine starts or stops, when a driver changes duty status, and when personal use is indicated.

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