Technological advancements have revolutionized many things, including operating vehicles. Most manual processes have been replaced by automated functions that rely on devices and little human intervention. In-car technologies enhance safety, reduce vehicle operational costs, and improve customer service. Some in-car technology, like TV and Wi-Fi, provide entertainment and enable information-sharing. This article looks at two in-vehicle technologies, namely the electronic logbook and the digital vehicle inspection report (DVIR).

Electronic Logbook

An electronic logbook, also referred to as an e-log or an electronic logging device (ELD), is an innovation that was developed to help drivers, vehicle-monitoring service providers, and transportation companies to easily abide by some legal requirements. They provide accurate records for vehicle-operating information and drivers’ activity, and over a long duration, they can help the companies to save money.

Typically, an e-log is a small computer tablet fixed on a truck cabin, although some are hand-held devices carried by the driver. The gadget has other components, like sensors that collect data attached to the vehicle to capture metrics like engine temperature, vehicle motion, fuel consumption, speed, and much more. The data about the automobile and the driver can be automatically transmitted to other devices, for example in the office, or recorded for future reference when checking on things like time-keeping, and for review when inspecting the vehicle.

E-log as a government requirement

Earlier formats of e-log first came to be used in the US in 1937, when over-the-road truckers were required to maintain written records of their hours of service (HOS) as a record of duty status (RODS). The law enforcers relied on the documents to ensure that the drivers did not surpass their maximum hours of service between rest breaks. The requirement’s goal was to ensure that drivers took enough rest to reduce accidents occasioned by drivers’ fatigue. E-log replaced paper records. The rule on maintaining e-logs applies to carriers as well as commercial vehicle drivers who are mandated to keep records of duty status (RODS).

Benefits of electronic logbooks

Businesses involved in operating fleets of trucks stand to benefit from e-logs by enhancing and increasing productivity in the following ways:

·             Time-saving: ELDs record data automatically, thus eliminating the need for manual entry, which can be time-consuming, and enabling drivers to spend that time productively driving. The electronic records also do away with paperwork, which is prone to more errors and leads to more time spent resolving such mistakes.

·Easy vehicle inspection: E-logs make vehicle inspection easier by displaying data on the devices for officials from the Department of Transportation. The data can also be transferred electronically to expedite the inspection and to make it easier.

·Reduced costs: Drivers monitor their hours and receive alerts before surpassing their hour limit, which can result in hefty costs in terms of penalties and increased insurance premiums.

·Timely vehicle maintenance: With the the vehicle being monitored due to its data, scheduling maintenance becomes significantly simplified. Vehicle grounding is also reduced, as alerts are received in advance to prevent this.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR)

A driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) is a formal record, whether on paper or otherwise, that confirms that a driver has thoroughly inspected their commercial vehicle before getting it out on the road. The inspections are carried out before and after the trip when the driver finishes work for the day. The vehicle inspections are a critical part of truck drivers’ daily tasks, and they ensure that the vehicle is in good condition, that it is safe, and that it complies with the fleet requirements. Completing a DVIR daily when the vehicle is on the road is a legal requirement as per the Federal Regulations in the US.

Electronic DVIRs (eDVIRs) came to help reduce the paperwork and enable easy sharing of data among the drivers, fleet managers, maintenance service providers, and other parties. Both e-logs and eDVIRs are available from service providers. You cannot go wrong getting them from EyeRide, one of the market leaders in in-vehicle technology, who you can find at eyerideonline.com.

The benefits of DVIR

Electronic or paperless DVIR enables the driver to conveniently and speedily submit their vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspection reports. The transmission is done electronically and is vital to fleet managers, as it helps them to:

·Receive the information from pre-trip and post-trip inspections in real time

·Minimize the risk of non-compliance that may result in substantial penalties and high insurance premiums

·Compile and create the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compliant reports for tractors and trailers

·Minimize time lost by vehicles breaking down, as it takes action in response to the alerts received concerning the vehicles’ defects

·Easily identify and take the necessary measures for a vehicle that has missed inspection reports

Conclusion

The in-vehicle technology, and specifically electronic logs and electronic DVIRs, play a significant role in enhancing vehicle safety, reducing accidents, and improving productivity. Moreover, they increase profits and enhance customer service due to the early detection of vehicle defects and rectification of the same, therefore avoiding vehicle and equipment breakdowns.

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