The 2017 holiday season is here. Consumers are buying in store and online while goods are shipping all over the globe. However, in the U.S. transport and logistics industry there is a new wrinkle this year. On December 18, 2017, Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) become mandatory for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) operating in the US. There are some exemptions to the FMCSA’s “ELD Mandate,” but in general, it applies to any carrier or driver that is currently required to track hours-of-service (HOS) and maintain records of duty status (RODS). This includes trucks from Canada and Mexico operating in the US. Does this mean Santa needs an ELD on his sleigh this year?

Some CMVs are deploying less onerous Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD). If purchased (and installed) before December 18th, they are “grand-fathered” until December 2019. Others US carriers are lobbying, protesting and hoping for a delay similar to the one in Canada. However, most CMVs will need to choose from the FMCSA’s list of over a hundred certified ELDs before the deadline. Non-compliance can be costly, exceeding $8,000 for each acute violation.

ELDs come in a variety of form-factors, using different operating systems and connection types. The only constant is a “recorder” device that must be hardwired to the truck’s electronic control module (ECM) to record engine telematics. In addition to the core functionality required by the FMCSA, ELDs can provide a wide assortment of functional modules and applications. Everything from integrated GPS and dashcams, to engine diagnostics and IFTA fuel tax reporting.

When deployed, an ELD solution can quickly pay for itself and deliver many benefits for carriers, drivers and the end consumers. Transport companies get a new window into fleet operations and a more dynamic view of their critical assets to improve performance and reduce costs. Drivers get a quality of life improvement from the mandatory HOS regulations and legislated protection from employer pressure and punishment. Consumers get better order visibility and faster stock replenishment, and maybe even lower prices.

At the core, ELDs are regular mobile devices employed on an important new mission. Because of the strict compliance requirement, they can be considered business critical mobility. As such, ELDs will benefit from an EMM solution just like any other mobile device. EMM delivers full lifecycle security and management for a device and its applications. This includes rapid enrollment, remote provisioning, easy updating and high-impact features such as:

  • Kiosk mode can optimize the device UI to improve the driver experience and decrease errors.
  • Remote support can diagnose and fix ELD problems anywhere, at anytime.
  • Speed lockdown prevents distracted driving by restricting ELD features when the truck is in motion.
  • Geo-fences to automate notifications and modify ELD behavior based on location.

If ELDs are in your company’s future, you will need a proven EMM solution to support it. Whatever ELD solution you decide on, SOTI MobiControl can secure and manage it. Nancy Lahaie, the Marketing Director from ISAAC Instruments Inc., a SOTI Partner and ELD expert believes EMM is critical to the success for any ELD solution.

The right ELD solution can transform a required expense into a strategic investment — it opens the door to amazing operational benefits and workflow optimizations. The initial rollout phase is key to the success of any ELD solution and this is where SOTI MobiControl can really help. It makes it easy to provision, deploy and support their telemetry ELD solution.

SOTI has over two decades of experience securing and managing mobile devices and their operating systems. SOTI’s strong relationships with over 150 hardware OEMs and the leading operating system companies has created unequalled mobile technology expertise. SOTI’s agnostic approach extends beyond mobility management. Recently, the company launched the SOTI ONE platform, an integrated suite of mobility and IoT solutions. SOTI ONE keeps your workers working, builds your apps faster and manages your business critical mobile devices, IoT endpoints and ELDs.