Fleet management system provider Mix Telematics Ltd. today released a risk management platform that it says can help operators control the costs of implementing federal mandates for electronic logging devices (ELDs).
In December 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approved a rule requiring electronic logging devices (ELDs) to be installed in virtually all commercial motor vehicles by the end of 2017.
The devices, which over time will replace paper logbooks, automatically record driving time, engine hours, miles driven, and other details. The ELD mandate was crafted to ensure drivers are following federal guidelines governing their working hours. However, there is concern in some quarters that the time and manpower involved in a shift in process, and secondarily the cost of equipment, may be too much for many small operators that are already cash-tight.
Houston-based Mix Telematics says it can cut the cost of implementing the regulation for users who combine its ELD-compliant Mix Fleet Manager platform with the newly launched Mix Journey Management. The technology will be sold, initially at least, to oil and gas companies, which are Mix's largest market. The platform is also available to companies with bus and coach fleets or service vehicles such as plumbing, electrical, and cable vans.
The platforms can save users $50 to 100 per month per vehicle through improved fuel usage, reduced maintenance expense, less time spent on paperwork, and better crash prevention processes, the company said.
"The oil market is pretty hard hit right now, and there's a big push to lower operating costs," Mix Telematics Executive Vice President Pete Allen said in a phone interview. "Customers can use our tool to do that, instead of cutting programs or people."
With an estimated 20 percent to 25 percent of vehicles industrywide now using telematics, the company expects a large jump in adoption of the electronic "black boxes" being wired to truckers' engines before the new ELD regulation goes into effect in September 2017.
"Some fleets are going to merely meet the regulation, but others are shooting higher," Allen said. "Monitoring productivity, safety, efficiency, compliance... that's where the value proposition is for [return on investment]."