Perhaps one of the biggest legislation changes for the trucking industry in recent years is the ELD mandate.
With enforcement beginning December 18, you might be looking for an IFTA-compliant ELD. We have written this article to provide you with insight to help you understand what you need from an ELD.
The ELD mandate is only for Hours of Service (HOS) - any extra bells and whistles are not necessary and can be expensive.
You may have heard people in the industry say that ELDs can be a management tool that will put small fleets on the same playing field as large fleets. The thing is, it is much easier for large fleets to shell out the cash for an ELD system that does more than HOS, because with more trucks they will get a better price-per-unit. Besides, you know better than anyone else the many costs that go into operating your company.
Choose an ELD that matches your operations.
Don't worry about getting an ELD that does more than HOS. Instead, get a basic ELD that satisfies the mandate and look for an IFTA program that solves all of your IFTA mileage data questions. Beware of the many brand new bandwagon ELD companies that are just starting in the trucking industry. Make sure the ELD companies you speak with are credible and have been around the industry for at least 5 years with other trucking products or services. Confirm that they can provide you with support when you need it and they can repair their ELD within the mandated 8 days when it is not functioning.
Keep in mind that while most ELD companies list IFTA as an extra feature they do beyond HOS, if their IFTA description is not specific and clear about what it does, then you should ask questions. Find out exactly what it does for IFTA and how much more money it will cost you. There is a big difference between merely collecting IFTA compliant miles (GPS pings recording every 15 minutes or less) and actually making sense of your miles and fuel data to generate an accurate IFTA report.
The IFTA terms currently being used by ELD promotional material are: IFTA accounting, IFTA data collection, IFTA reporting, and IFTA. Most of them only say IFTA, and what they mean is that they are simply recording miles, which is one of the very basic features of an ELD (because it connects to your truck's computer). If you want your ELD to really capture IFTA miles get an ELD that records GPS pings every 15 minutes or less. If it does that, you are IFTA compliant for miles or collecting IFTA miles only, now you need a program like eTruxFuel to generate your IFTA report and more. However if you get an ELD that records pings every 60 minutes then you will definitely need our program.
Here are some suggestions for IFTA compliance with ELDs:
- Find a program that can make sense of your ELD data with a mile-per-state validation tool to make sure you have the correct IFTA/IRP miles
- Avoid spending more money than you have to by choosing to hire out your IFTA work to a compliance office or accounting company
- Beware of manually working on data in spreadsheets, which takes too much time, generates more errors, and can lead you to an auditing predicament
- Go with a program that has many IFTA reporting benefits, is easy to use, and makes you highly productive with your compliance work and your company operations
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IFTA reporting is so critical that we, eTruxFuel, have built in several features to make this a simple process. And for the first 31 days you can try eTruxFuel completely for free – so you can try out all the beneficial features that our clients use every single day to stay on top of their reports.
- Import your mileages from your ELD into our program to make sense of all that mileage data. It is part of the mandate for ELDs to be able to export data it collects in a CSV format.
- Use our PC Miler feature if you have data gaps, to validate your data or your ELD does not gather IFTA jurisdictional mileage data
- Seamlessly import your fuel purchases from your fuel card or you can manually enter in your fuel receipts or a combination of both
- No more manual calculations for your IFTA report and if you travel between the United States and Canada you will no longer have to worry about conversions
- Run as many reports as you need, and the reports can be broken down by per truck, per month and per quarter
- Store your reports in multiple formats – PDF, CSV, or print right from our program - and keep your data in eTruxFuel for 6 years at no extra cost
- Need help? We have several different help videos and step by step instructions to help you along the way. We have an entire team dedicated to making sure you understand your IFTA report
And of course, by using eTruxFuel you will feel confident if your company was ever audited. Having a program like ours keeps your records neatly organized, secure, with no calculation errors.
You have enough information to make your decision and what’s so great is that you can start today entirely risk-free with a free 31 day trial.