Your bottom line and your overhead are both important financial factors when it comes to operating a successful business, and driving a truck or managing a fleet is no different. In fact, like most businesses, professional truck drivers and commercial motor carriers often find themselves spending valuable time — around 20+ hours a year — on paperwork alone! The way we see it, that’s time that could be better spent driving and making money, or at home, relaxing with your family.
One of the major benefits of using an ELD is that it streamlines record keeping and significantly reduces paperwork associated with HOS (Hours of Service) regulations, but we’re here to show you how this reduction in paperwork also equates to yearly savings, per driver. Let’s get started.
According to assumptions stated by the FMCSA in its Regulatory Impact Analysis for ELDs, each driver is estimated to save at least ($724) per year by using ELDs, simply by significantly cutting down the amount of paperwork that’s associated with filing and submitting RODS (Record of Duty Status). Here’s the breakdown of savings:
- Driver Filling RODS: $504 saved (sic) (Report stated $487, but their math is off)
- Driver Submitting RODS: $58 (sic) (Report stated $56, but their math is off)
- Clerk Filing RODS: $120
- Elimination of paper driver log books: $42
- TOTAL PAPERWORK SAVINGS: $724 (sic) (Report states $705, but their math is off)
According to their preliminary data from 2014, the FMCSA estimated these results in the
It’s estimated that each driver fills out an average of 240 RODS per year, and ELDs are estimated to reduce the amount of time drivers spend logging their HOS by 4.5 minutes per RODS (dropping from 6.5 minutes a day to 2 minutes per day).
That’s 240 RODS x 4.5 minutes saved ÷ 60 minutes per hour = 18 hours saved. If we multiply 18 hours by $28 per hour, that’s $504.
The report states that it’s estimated that ELDs will likely eliminate the time drivers spend filing or submitting RODS to carriers. To find the estimated savings associated with eliminating this task, the report states that it’s estimated that submitting RODS takes about 5 minutes and occurs 25 times per year.
That’s 5 minutes x 25 occurrences ÷ 60 minutes per hour = 2.08 hours saved.
Financially, that’s 2.08 hours x $28 per hour = $58.
RODS are automatically transmitted via the ELD and stored on a secure website, which means that clerical staff will no longer have to handle filing RODS. To figure out how much this saves a driver, it’s estimated that it took carrier clerical staff one minute to file each RODS. If drivers are submitting 240 RODS per year, the labor cost association is as follows:
1 minute filing x 240 RODS ÷ 60 minutes per hour = 4 hours per driver saved. At $30 per hour x 4 hours of work, that’s $120 in labor cost savings.
ELDs eliminate the need for paper RODS books. If we assume a month’s worth of log books cost $3.50 and we multiply that by 12 months, that’s $42 saved over the year.
Keep in mind that the larger the fleet, the larger the savings can be! And, while ELDs do not fully eliminate driver time spent logging HOS, they do significant reduce the amount of personal time and labor hours associated with it. For instance, drivers will still have to interact with their ELD to log in and out at the beginning and end of their work shift, and to change duty status, but other changes, like transitioning to on-duty driving to on-duty not-driving, will be logged automatically. Bottom line: ELDS eliminate on-duty drive time entries, simplify other duty status entries, and can save you or your fleet money that was otherwise associated with paperwork.