November 6, 2017

Ryder, Geotab launch ELD compliance app for smartphones

Fleet rental firm provides logging hardware in truck and invites customers to log in to app to connect.

By DC Velocity Staff

Vehicle rental and leasing giant Ryder System Inc. said today that it had teamed with telematics solutions provider Geotab Inc. to create a software platform it said will make it easier for commercial rental customers to comply with the pending federal mandate that many trucks use electronic logging devices (ELDs).

Miami-based Ryder said its Electronic Logging Device platform allows customers to comply by downloading an app onto a smartphone or tablet device instead of installing their own portable ELD equipment in the rental truck.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules, virtually all trucks built after the year 2000 must be equipped with ELDs by Dec. 18. Fleets with older electronic onboard recorders have until December 2019 to comply. The rule is intended to let fleets monitor their drivers' hours of service (HOS) records more accurately than with traditional paper logbooks, ensuring that they do not exceed limits on consecutive hours worked behind the wheel.

FMCSA last month granted an exemption from ELD compliance to rental trucks operating eight or fewer days. However, drivers of rental vehicles operating longer than eight days will be required to comply. Truck rental and leasing interests had hoped to get ELD relief for vehicles operating up to 30 days.

Ryder will provide rental fleet customers with hardware connected to the vehicle, and allow them to log in to an app on their own connected smart device, Rich Mohr, Ryder rental operations vice president and global product manager, said in an email. To achieve full compliance with the mandate, drivers using the Ryder system would also need to bring their prior seven days' logs as well as a backup paper log book and other supporting trip documents, Mohr said.

The Ryder platform tracks the vehicle's location, routing activity, and idle times, and creates "geofences"—software that defines geographical boundaries—and fleet activity notifications. It also includes a fleet management portal for establishing driver profiles, the company said.

Users activate the platform by downloading and logging into the Geotab Drive app on a cellular data-connected mobile device, allowing them to capture their records of duty status (RODS) and other data, Ryder said.

The company is also offering an online ELD Mandate Resource Guide to answer additional questions about the new regulation, and has partnered with the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) to work with the government on behalf of customers in order to mitigate challenges, Ryder said.

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