You already know that the deadline for ELD implementation, December 18, 2017, is coming up fast. You might know it’s coming, but are you ready? Working with an ELD will one day be second nature, but in the beginning, it can be chaotic and stressful, especially if your drivers feel like it was sprung on them.
Don’t upset your drivers or make managing your fleet anymore stressful than it has to be. Plan for a smooth ELD implementation now so by December, everybody will be comfortable using the new systems.
Check Your Exemptions
Make sure you know who’s exempt from the ELD mandate and who isn’t. Pre-2000 trucks don’t have to have an ELD but if you replace that truck after the deadline, the new one will. Drivers who don’t maintain a Record of Duty Status (RODS) at all or for eight days or less in a month may not be required to use an ELD. You may also be exempt from the ELD Mandate if you have a driveaway-towaway operation.
Involve Drivers Early
The day you’re ready to put all your drivers on the ELD system you’ve chosen isn’t the time to tell them. The process and plan should be an on-going conversation. Give them a chance to air their concerns and ask questions.
Your drivers may already feel negative about making a big change. If you gripe along with them, it will only add to their resistance. They need to hear that the ELD system is going to make their job easier. You also want to remind them the learning curve doesn’t last forever, and if you’re using the Gorilla Safety Fleet Management System – it’s almost non-existent.
Test the System
Put together a small group of drivers and have them test the ELD. They’ll provide valuable feedback and let you know what works and doesn’t work before you roll it out to your entire fleet. These drivers can also be the best ones to reassure the other drivers how well the system works.
Develop a Training Program
You need to write policies and processes for using the ELD as well as how to stay in compliance and meet all requirements. Make sure to include information on troubleshooting problems. Add a section to help everyone, drivers and staff, understand harassment and coercion rules. Once it’s ready, make sure everyone in your fleet has a copy and easy access if they lose their copy. If you’re using the Gorilla Safety system, upload these documents to the Document Management section of the app so that all of your drivers have easy access to them.
Involve Other Departments
The ELD system you choose could very well impact other processes in your fleet. Involve other departments and employees to make sure they’re able to update their own procedures. If ELD use conflicts with other parts of your business operations, it will cause unnecessary confusion and stress for everyone.
Once you’re ready for implementation, continue to talk about the benefits and accept feedback. Make as many people available as possible to help during the adjustment period. The test group you used can act as mentors for other drivers until they’re comfortable with the system. Keep the lines of communication open – no one should feel lost and alone with the new technology.
If you plan your implementation well and don’t wait until the last minute, the rollout should go very smoothly. At Gorilla Safety, we’re committed to helping you stay in compliance and have a good experience with your implementation.