Adopt ELDs ahead of mandate: Wright

TORONTO, ON – Bill Wright, the recently named president of PeopleNet Canada, describes the plans to mandate electronic logs as “exciting times”. In fact, he asks, why would anyone wait for a mandate?

The U.S. has announced its intention to replace paper logbooks with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) — and Canada is expected to follow suit — but there are advantages awaiting early adopters of the technology, Wright says. “Being ahead of the curve is always an advantage.” Fleets can leverage the added experience to train drivers, ensuring that everyone knows how to work with the devices, and fully integrate the tools into dispatch systems, he explains.

“Drivers need to drive and focus on that. They shouldn’t be burdened with some of the administration that the system can do automatically for them.”

The promise of telematics is not limited to tracking Hours of Service, either.

Wright refers to available systems and how they are automating all sorts of workflows, such as capturing customer signatures, recording arrival times, reporting taxes, and more.

Video feeds are further enhancing the opportunities. Some drivers are using personal dash cams, but fleets that install truly integrated systems can capture video around moments such as hard-braking events, he says. That information can be used to enhance driver training and reduce liability alike.

As much as the technology continues to evolve, don’t expect a radical shift in PeopleNet Canada’s management strategy under his watch. Wright joined PeopleNet in 2001, and was a founding member of PeopleNet Canada. Jamie Williams, his predecessor, shared a common management style and commitment to customer satisfaction, he says.

What has changed is the integration of TMW Systems software and ALK’s mapping platform, helping PeopleNet sign evermore large fleets. A recent partnership with Samsung is a “game changer”, he adds. “This offering allows for a wide variety of future Android display options at different price points.”

The excitement continues to build.

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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