Commercial transportation companies have an important deadline to meet by the end of this year.

By December 16, 2019, they will need to be fully compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) rule. It requires all commercial transportation companies to have ELD technology in place so that their drivers can electronically log their daily hours of service. The original deadline was December 18, 2017, but the FMCSA granted a temporary extension to companies that had previously installed an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD).

Many major transportation companies have already embraced the ELD rule and equipped their commercial vehicles with the necessary technology to become compliant. But not all companies have completed the upgrades and now it is time to make the change.

There are many reasons companies have deferred compliance. Cost, budget pressures and previously installed AOBRDs are at the top of that list. But companies are now finding that ELD compliance brings additional benefits. It gives transportation companies the opportunity to boost their business.

Here’s a couple of examples.

Dupré Logistics

Dupré Logistics is a transportation and logistics provider based in Lafayette, Louisiana. They have more than 750 trucks and provide transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. We’re helping Dupré stay ELD compliant with a telematics and driver workflow solution that will also help them modernize and accelerate processes for their crude oil division.

The company chose to use AT&T Fleet Management for Enterprise which uses the Geotab platform. It’s a cloud-based, GPS location and IoT telematics solution that provided Dupré fleet managers with a web platform to track both their drivers and vehicles in near real time. In addition, drivers are equipped with a tablet that has an integrated ELD and Hours of Service (HOS) application, so they can easily log their data for compliance. Dupré also purchased a custom workflow application for their drivers that integrates with their dispatch team and service ticketing systems.

One additional challenge Dupré drivers were experiencing was a lack of network coverage in some of their remote service locations. Our solution helps them solve that. The driver’s ELD data and entries are stored within the tablet and forwarded once the vehicle gets back into an area with network coverage.

“We wanted a modern technology solution that offered us benefits beyond just ELD compliance. The AT&T solution helps us to better manage our fleet, improve our drivers’ work environment and speed up our processes,” Bob Verret, chief information officer, Dupré Logistics. “And it has the added benefit of improving our customer service, allowing us to give status updates to our customers in minutes, not days.”

Cheeseman Transport

Cheeseman Transport specializes in commercial trucking for short and long-haul box deliveries. Based in Fort Recovery, Ohio, the company has a fleet of more than 325 tractors and 1000 trailers. They also decided to go with AT&T Fleet Management for Enterprise. “We went with the AT&T fleet solution because it provided the features we were looking for on one bill. Now we can better communicate with our drivers, stay compliant and get near real time visibility into things like the driver’s location, status and behavior,” said Shawn Thobe, manager of information systems, Cheeseman Transport.

ELD Compliance and Beyond

So, why adopt these technologies? First and foremost, transportation companies need to stay compliant with regulations. But these solutions can also help to improve the visibility of assets and safety of drivers. And they provided added benefits of better communication with drivers, improved customer satisfaction, and better reliability and efficiencies throughout the business.

Technology is revolutionizing how we track transported goods across the globe. And in the coming years, it should bring even more breakthroughs. Now is the time for fleet managers to embrace a digital transformation that can help them operate with better efficiency.

Learn more about next-generation technologies from AT&T, check out our transportation services page.