Learning to Use the Fancy ELD System You Just Bought

The big talk in the trucking world is typically about how the ELD mandate will affect our daily lives. Today I want to talk about the system that you and your team purchased, installed, and trained drivers on—and then forgot how to use (or maybe never learned all the functions of the system to begin with).

Luxury-Car

Quick question: Would you purchase a brand new top of the line luxury car and not learn all the features and functions of the vehicle? Of course not! The very first thing you would do is learn how each part of the system worked.

So something is definitely wrong if we buy a major telematics solution and don’t learn everything we can about how to put it to good use. And yet, it happens all the time.

Let’s say that driver John calls in from the Wyoming Port of Entry and due to the way the system reports on location the officer at the scale wants to know how far in or out of a city center he actually was during a change in duty status.

Do you know how to run that report and send it? If you’re not sure how to do it, who on your internal staff can? The bigger question is, what’s stopping you from learning how to run that report?

Commit to learning the ins and outs of your new ELD solution. You’ll be able to use the system more effectively and save yourself lots of time and frustration.

Let’s face it. Regardless of whether or not we want the mandate or not, it’s here to stay. Many of the larger companies have been using telematics for 10 years or more with no sign of ever getting away from them, so why would you not at least give yourself the benefit of the knowledge you now have on hand and learn how the system operates and what you can and can’t do with it.

After all, the day we brought that new car home we had already figured out the cruise control, lane assist, 360-degree camera, voice dial, heated seats, and the satellite radio–and that was in the first two hours of ownership.

So as fleet managers, let’s give ourselves and our drivers a leg up and make sure we know how to drive the software we’re requiring our employees to use.

Need to learn more about your ELDs? Here are steps you can take to get on the right track: 

Step 1) Contact your account manager (these folks are your main contact for getting the most out of your solution).

Step 2)  Work with them to determine a customized training solution. They can help you fill in the gaps when you need a refresher or a deeper dive into how the system works.

Step 3) Enjoy being the smartest person in the room when questions about the ELD system come up.