Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow, but everywhere else there are hints of spring in the air. In fact, the first official day of spring is today — Monday, March 20th.
For spring weather industries, this means your business is about to hit its stride – creating long work days and leaving business owners looking for new ways to cut costs and improve profits. GPS fleet tracking can help you with all those things while also improving customer relations, productivity, and reducing paperwork for everyone. These four spring weather industries are perfect examples.
1) Landscaping Companies
Spring is a time when people are looking to clean up remnants of winter and get their lawns and gardens in perfect working order. GPS tracking allows you to dispatch your landscaping company crews more efficiently, encourages productivity among your crews, and notifies you if drivers are straying from their designated paths.
2) Construction Companies
Spring is prime building time for many construction companies. From families making housing additions and changes to buildings that have been delayed by long, cold, and often wet winters, construction is in full swing once the warm weather hits. GPS tracking can be used not only to keep track of expensive machinery and vehicles, but also to keep track of costly tools and smaller equipment that frequently comes up missing from job sites.
3) Window Cleaning Companies
With many businesses attempting to remove the last vestiges of winter from their surroundings, window and glass cleaning companies usually have a lot going on as spring approaches. Cleaning salt and sludge from windows and storefronts can be busy work and if you don’t plan routes carefully, you may find yourself covering the same territories twice while leaving other areas largely uncovered. GPS fleet tracking will create the most cost-effective routes that utilize your labor and your vehicles with fuel and time efficiency in mind.
4) Street Sweeping Companies
Street sweepers also have plenty to do in spring. Not only are you cleaning up after winters that may have left garbage, leaves, and other debris behind as ice and snow melt, but you’re also cleaning up after various spring storms that come along breaking down limbs, trees, and so much more. GPS fleet tracking can help you ensure the most efficient use of your sweepers so you can cover more territory in less time – while conserving fuel. Everyone wins!
The bottom line is that if you have a seasonal business, like any of these four, your business can enjoy many great benefits from using GPS fleet tracking. Perhaps even some you haven’t considered yet.
As a major milestone in the ELD compliance timeline approaches, more attention is being directed at the timeline itself. Motor carriers and drivers alike are curious about how the timeline will affect their businesses and what steps must be taken when in order to reach compliance.
Phase One – Transition and Awareness
This phase of the timeline is already in progress. It began February 16, 2016 and will end on December 18, 2017 when Phase Two, or the Compliance Phase, begins. During this phase, drivers and carriers who are required to comply with the ELD rule may choose to use paper logs, logging software, AOBRDS (Automatic On Board Recording Devices) or ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices).
You will only want to use ELD software solution options that are officially registered and that appear on the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website.
Phase Two – Phased-In Compliance
The first stage of compliance must be met by the vast majority of drivers and motor carriers by December 18, 2017 when this phase goes into effect. During phased-in compliance drivers and carriers are required to have qualifying ELDs in use in all vehicles that fall within the requirements.
Carriers and drivers who are currently operating with AOBRDS are not yet required to achieve full compliance as they have been grandfathered in and have been granted an extension before compliance is required. GPS tracking devices are not necessarily ELDs, but many ELD makers are using GPS tracking technology as part of their product offerings.
Phase Three – Full Compliance
By December 16, 2019, full compliance must be met by all motor carriers and drivers who are subject to the ELD rule. All drivers and carriers at this time must use ELDs that have been approved by the FMCSA.
The transition phases as meant to serve as a time to allow motor carriers and drivers the opportunity to obtain the electronic logging devices software that works best to meet your needs. Don’t delay this critical business decision unnecessarily leaving you little time to make the right decision.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) rule into place and it is causing a great deal of speculation among businesses that may be affected by these new requirements.
Below you will find answers to some of the more commonly asked questions and concerns regarding this new rule and what it means for motor carriers and drivers.
What primary requirements does the ELD rule put into place?
There are several principal requirements outlined in the ELD rule including the requirement that drivers who are currently required to fill out hours-of-service RODS (records of duty status) use ELDs. It also establishes performance and design standards required for ELDs to be compliant with FMCSA certification and defines which documents drivers and carriers must keep to be compliant. It also goes so far as to prohibit the harassment of drivers and provides an avenue of recourse for drivers who have been subjected to harassment.
Why was the ELD rule established?
The ELD rule applies to most drivers or carriers who are currently required to maintain RODS. It was established in hopes of creating work environments that are safer for drivers as its primary concern. It also serves to make the management, tracking, and sharing of RODS data easier, faster, more accurate, and more efficient.
When are carriers and drivers required to comply with the ELD rule?
The deadline for drivers and carriers to comply with the ELD rule by using appropriate electronic logging devices, is December 18, 2017. Drivers and carriers who are currently using automatic on-board recording devices have additional time, until December 16, 2019, to become compliant with the new regulations.
How long are carriers required to maintain copies of RODS data from ELDs?
Motor carriers are required to keep not only ELD RODS date, but also back-up copies of the date on separate devices for six months. The carrier is also charged with the responsibility of properly storing and securing this information in order to protect the privacy of its drivers.
When is location data recorded by ELDs?
Electronic logging devices software will record location data in 60-minute intervals when vehicles are in motion as well as when drivers start and turn off their engines, record a change of duty status, or indicate yard moves are taking place. GPS tracking technology is highly useful for providing accuracy for this critical element.
What information is automatically recorded by electronic logging devices?
ELDs will follow the following types of information at specific intervals:
- Location information (similar to how some GPS tracking devices record information)
- Engine hours
- Vehicle miles
It will also record identification information about the driver, vehicle, motor carrier, and/or authenticated user.
Can ELDs be used to warn drivers who are approaching HOS (hours-of-service) limits?
As one of the key elements of the ELD rule is to safeguard drivers and ensure compliance with HOS requirements, it is completely fitting that companies may choose to use electronic logging devices that offer some type of warning or notification that drivers are approaching their HOS limits for the day. While this feature is allowed on ELDs it is not required so drivers and carriers may want to consider this when selecting an ELD software solution.
For additional FAQs related to the ELD Rule, see the FMCSA website.