How the Government Intends to Use the IoT to Improve Safety Among Logistics Companies


(Photo by Mincho Kavaldzhiev on Unsplash)

The future of the trucking industry is paperless. The Congress justified the legislation of the ELD mandate as a long-awaited move towards road safety and less pressure on long-haul truckers.

In a perfect world, freight transportation is always on schedule but before the ELD mandate went into full effect, truckers faced constant delays on the road. In order to keep complete records, the paperwork can sometimes be tedious; they often have to reroute due to highway obstructions or traffic; and roadside inspections never go without a hitch. Trucking Info states that highway patrolmen check the hours of service logged, along with the driver’s credentials, and additional paperwork becomes subjected to scrutiny causing further holdups on the road.

When drivers exceed the maximum hours of service in an attempt to beat delivery schedules, adequate rest often becomes a trade-off. Sleep deprivation and fatigue are serious and dangerous conditions experienced by truck drivers which can potentially put innocent lives at risk. FMCSA data indicates that a considerable portion of highway accidents involve commercial trucks. The government agency aims to use the ELD mandate as a long-term solution to reduce such incidents.

America’s leaders are tapping into the Internet of Things (IoT) that makes this transition possible. As explained by Rick Todd in his post for SCCC, regulations such as hours of service rendered have been in place for a long time, but the mandate makes non-compliance virtually impossible through accurate tracking and recording of relevant info in a centralized database. The FMCSA promises smoother inspections because all drivers have to do is present digital data instead of rifling through stacks of paperwork. ELDs help management monitor the performance of their drivers better, as well as provide remote assistance to drivers if needed.

Verizon Connect further explains that ELDs also ensure that proper vehicle maintenance is being conducted, which reduces the chances of delays in terms of deliveries or highway accidents due to engine problems. It can record the motion of the vehicle, the temperature, pressure, and even the humidity which is vital information when carrying sensitive loads. Cutting edge technology via the IoT also makes accurate weather forecasts possible for drivers and on-site fleet operators, as well as helping them plan their reroutes. The IoT allows for constant updates via the cloud so that it can be translated into safe actionable plans.

Despite the progress, the new rule has been met with some resistance and pleas particularly from smaller fleet operators and those who transport perishable goods. Montana Farm Bureau Federation reports that the American Farm Bureau started a petition for a five-year exemption from the ELD mandate on top of their three-month waiver since December. Their main argument is that livestock and produce simply can’t be left in a freight vehicle overnight should the driver reach their service limit. However, there are no updates whether the agricultural sector has reached an agreement with the government. Small fleet operators are also skeptical that the benefits promised by the FMCSA will offset the initial capital for the devices.

Still, the safety of everyone on American roads should be enough to convince fleet operators to invest in ELDs. Operators’ standards will have to be adjusted according to the data made available by the technology, and drivers will get to meet their biological need to rest to minimize potential dangers while on duty. Increased compliance is not only for the benefit of profit but for all the stakeholders in the trucking industry. Echoing SC Logistics’ mission to “become a global leader in transportation, distribution, and logistics,” the improvement of the entire industry is only possible through collaborative efforts with the government.

By RoadJeM Reports
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