With a constantly changing landscape of new regulations and better fleet management strategies, improving technology has been the answer. With technology, people can do more with less – specifically when using the right tool for the job.
In the motor carrier industry, electronic systems have become the best way for collecting accurate data. ECMs (Electronic Control Module or Electronic Control Unit) are capable of providing an array of data points, but to make proper sense of that data, you need the right technological tools or programs.
Let’s look at your accounting program, for example. To make sense of the money you make, pay, and keep, having the right accounting program makes it an easy job – even if you are not an accountant.
As for IFTA, if you are already running a GPS or ELD that syncs with your ECM, then you will need an IFTA program to make sense of this data, so you can make the best fuel -related decisions.
You can think of your maintenance the same way. That is, if you are doing preventing maintenance to keep your up-time maximized, then you will need a program to make sense of the maintenance data from the ECM.
You might ask yourself, how can I find a program that is useful, reliable, and pays for itself. How can I find the right tool for the job?
The best way to answer the above questions is to examine your operations.
To run a fleet, there are three basic areas you need to look at, to be successful. The first area is accounting, so you can collect your money and pay expenses. The second is dispatching and routing, so your your loads get delivered on time and without any issues (assuming you have already secured load contracts). Lastly is compliance, so you can ensure your fleet stays safe and open for business.
You will need a program for each one of these areas. For IFTA compliance, a program must do the following:
- Work with ELD or GPS systems that ping every 15 minutes or less
- Work with fuel cards
- Run IFTA calculations as many times as needed
- Produce accurate reports per quarter, per month, per truck
- Come up with any missing mileage if ELD or GPS systems are down, or if the driver forgot to write miles per state down
- Allow manual entry of fuel and/or mileages if necessary
- Generate history reports to make sense of fuel economy and IRP / total mileage traveled
- Produce any weight-distance reports for KY, NM, NY, and OR (if you travel there)
IFTA Software that can do the above will provide you with insight on how to manage your IFTA expenses against your operations, and keep you safe from audits. Even if you are called for an audit, it will help you pass your audit without penalties.
With all this in mind, we came up with our fuel tax program – eTrucks IFTA. A program that organizes and manages your IFTA data, helps with your IFTA reporting, and keeps you safe from audits.
That is a tool that pays for itself.