The FMCSA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, rules for Hours of Service, usually referred to as HOS, are making a major impact on the trucking industry. The rules are aimed at reducing driver fatigue and the accidents it causes.
What the Rules Require
The HOS rules limit drivers to a 70-hour work week in an effort to make sure they get sufficient rest to drive safely. Studies done by the FMCSA predicted the new rules will save 19 lives and prevent 640 injuries due to 1,400 crashes each year.
Drivers can’t resume their work week after the 70 hours are up unless they take off for 34 consecutive hours. In addition, each driver must take a break at least 30 minutes long within the first eight hours of his work day and not work
The penalties for trucking companies who don’t comply are stiff:
Trucking companies can be fined $11,000 per offense
Drivers can be fined $2,750 for each offense
Red Tape and the 34 Hour Rule
The compliance issues are complex. For example, drivers can restart their work week if they get 34 consecutive hours of downtime. This must encompass at least two nights off that include the 1to 5 a.m. period.
As it now stands, the restart can be done just once a week, after 168 hours have passed since the time of the last restart.
Monitoring these stringent rules and documenting compliance is complex, taking time and effort.
Your Bottom Line
The American Trucking Associations, or ATA, has found that just filing the required red tape is costing the industry $189 million a year due to lost productivity.
In addition, 50% of the companies surveyed said they now need more drivers to haul the same amount of cargo as before the rules came into effect. More than that, two-thirds of the companies reported that fatigue levels have actually increased.
Telematics, which is the mix of computers and wireless technology to convey information, is revolutionizing the fleet industry. One of its prime focuses is addressing the Hours of Service compliance rules.
GPS fleet tracking software makes it possible to supply the data necessary to prove compliance. Here are four specific ways that the technology is helping companies monitor and improve their compliance, safety and accountability scores.
- Electronic driver logbooks certified by the FMCSA
- HOS manager portals to oversee that drivers are staying within the regulations
- Electronic driver vehicle inspection reports
- Easier driver and manager communication
The devices are easy for the driver to use, saving time over manual entry in logbooks. The screens are made for easy data entry and quick transmission to company headquarters.
LiveViewGPS has implemented an affordable solution to the Hours of Service (HOS), Electronic On Board Recording Device (EOBR) mandate. Visit www.HOSLog.com for more info.
Learn more about the LiveViewGPS HOS Solution call us at 1.888.502.3636 to see how we are helping trucking companies adhere to the new Hours of Service rules. Email us at email@example.com for general inquiries or contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Car robberies in broad daylight are angering Odessa, Texas residents. Their response has been to install GPS tracking devices in their cars. Police are happy because it makes it easier for them to find the cars and make arrests.
The GPS tracking device is not itself an anti-theft solution, but it helps after the car is taken. Vehicles that are stolen and don’t have GPS units are extremely difficult for the police to locate.
Many of the robberies have occurred on the weekends, five and six each weekend, according to police. For an area that isn’t a metropolis, that’s a lot of thefts.
Vehicle Recovery Systems
Several automakers have started installing them on vehicles, like GM’s OnStar. This system will actually slow the car down if the thief tries to lead police on a chase. Other models that have factory installed theft tracking include BMS Assist, Toyota Safety Connect, Lexus Enform and Mercedes-Benz TeleAid.
Other Ways To Protect Your Car
Besides using a GPS tracking device, insurance companies recommend six methods to safeguard your car and its valuables:
- Keep it locked, even when driving.
- Never leave your keys in the car when you park it.
- Never leave your car running when you aren’t in it.
- Keep valuables out of view from passersby.
- Avoid high crime areas.
- Have your car’s Vehicle Identification Number etched on each window.
Though not a major problem in Odessa, bike thefts are on the rise across the country. This has led to the development and use of GPS tracking for bikes to help owners track down their bikes if they are stolen.
Each day thousands of bikes are reported stolen in the U.S. at a cost of over $200 million. Even bikes with locks can get taken, with thieves using tools to cut, hammer, pry and hack them off. The GPS devices don’t take the place of locks, but provide a chance to track it if it is stolen.
Most devices are able to send an SMS alert and upload tracking coordinates continuously. If the alarm wasn’t activated before the bike was stolen, many units turn on in response to an SMS message from the owner.
You don’t get paid until you bill the customer. Anything that speeds up the billing process is going to improve your company’s cash flow. GPS fleet tracking is helping speed up the billing process by improving job documentation and making calculating and reporting faster.
Here is a look at how GPS fleet management systems can help you get your money more quickly.
Record keeping is time consuming and tedious. Without these records, invoices are only guesses, not based on what happened during the actual job. That’s why so many companies have come to rely on GPS. It simplifies record keeping and calculating invoices.
With the statistics provided automatically by your GPS tracking system, you get more accurate reports. These detailed records let you determine how much to invoice each customer.
The necessary statistics are recorded automatically, making billing almost effortless. There is no more math to cross check or invoices to be rewritten.
Drivers Are Paper-Free
Even the drivers benefit. They can input notes into the system. This reduces the chances of errors from manual logging and also the chance that paper notes will get lost during the course of the day, never making their way to the billing department.
The GPS system uses date stamps actions, increasing the accuracy of billing information as well as driver accountability. Drivers can easily clock their work, so the data is almost immediately available to the administrative team. Billing personnel are saved from performing tedious computer entry, saving time and money.
If the client questions the total, you can defend the exact amount of time that you charged them simply by referring to the GPS monitoring reports.
The records are kept efficiently and with much less effort on the part of the billing staff. They can easily figure out how many times each location was visited during specific periods and how long each vehicle was on the job site. With these exact times and dates, invoicing disputes are much easier to deal with.
You can precisely determine job site times and vehicle trails with reports that give times and locations. You can figure out what the real drive time is, apart from time wasted idling and delayed stops.
Reports for Everything
GPS systems can help you recoup lost or idle times. It gives you precise data about how much actual time for labor and vehicle use was invested in each job. With that in mind, you can decide how to factor in downtime to recover the money lost to unproductive periods.
You can easily check every components of a driver’s day, vehicle usage, maintenance, fuel usage and overall vehicle condition. These metrics are an essential part of overhead, all of which need to be accounted for if you want to make a profit.
GPS tracking systems make billing easier, faster, and more accurate. Investing in one is a cost-effective method of getting the most money out of every job.