How the ELD Mandate Will Improve Fuel Efficiency
In August, R-Squared Energy reported that the U.S. set a new gasoline demand record. We stated that a key reason for this is the growth in population in the U.S. In this article we look at the impact of Hurricane Harvey on gas prices, the current consumption of oil in the U.S., and how a new ruling for commercial vehicles will improve fuel efficiency.
In an article by AOL Finance, it was reported that the consequences of Hurricane Harvey continue to worsen. Aside from displacing tens of thousands of people, gas prices are rising because oil refineries in Texas remain closed. As a result, gas prices have increased to a two-year high, and are expected to keep climbing throughout the U.S. According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. consumed a total of 7.21 billion barrels of petroleum products in 2016. That’s roughly a consumption of 19.7 million barrels per day.
The ELD Mandate
While the technology behind solar and wind energy needs more refinement in order to be used on a wider scale, there are quicker, more immediate solutions that some organizations are implementing to reduce the consumption of gas. One government directive is aimed at commercial fleet companies.
Trucking companies make up for more than 500,000 businesses in the U.S., and these companies utilize over 15.5 million trucks on the road. One new law that will come into effect this December is the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Final Rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The ELD Final Rule will change how fleet management is operated by requiring drivers to use an app or on-board logging device that’s compliant to the FMCSA’s mandate. Fleetmatics revealed that ELDs will streamline the operating systems of fleet companies, from logging a driver’s hours of service to sending proactive alerts to both fleet managers and drivers if a trucking operation is about to commit a violation.
The ELD Final Rule will improve fuel efficiency because the drivers’ operations will be tracked automatically. Operators will be able to use the data received from an ELD to re-evaluate their routes and potentially find a more efficient route. This will help companies be economic in terms of the fuel they use.
ELD’s will also ensure that drivers work within the allotted amount of Hours of Service (Hos). The device will alert drivers when they are close to violating their HoS, and drivers who go beyond their working hours will be penalized. The FMCSA says that ELDs will save companies around $1.6 billion annually by enhancing fuel efficiency.
Whether or not the ELD Final Rule will be successful or not can only be determined once the law comes in full effect. Will the new mandate affecting millions of trucks operating in the U.S. significantly reduce commercial vehicle gas usage?
By Robert Rapier
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