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​The Impact of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD)

By Michael Pyle

Information Systems Manager

Technical Transportation, Inc

It’s been almost a year and a half since the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) first electronic logging device (ELD) compliance deadline passed, and we’ve noted several trends that have resulted.

But first, let’s quickly review the rules. Since December 2017, commercial motor vehicles have been required to include ELDs to track drivers’ hours of service electronically versus paper logs.

At TechTrans, we’ve witnessed multiple benefits, and as with any new regulation or piece of technology, everyone has to make adjustments. Some top benefits and adjustments we’ve seen so far include:

  • Teaching old dogs new tricks — It’s always difficult adjusting to new processes, and this mandate has been no different. With ELDs, drivers now have to plan their days and their routes better to maximize efficiently, because the technology leaves no room for “fudging”. And that’s typically better for everyone. But the reality is that many drivers now drive fewer miles per day, which can also mean less pay, which doesn’t help with the industry’s current driver shortage.
  • Safety — A main focus of the regulations, as well as its top benefit, is better overall road safety. ELDs help keep drivers, carriers and logistics companies honest when it comes to how much time a driver spends on the road. The typical rule is that a driver can only drive 11 hours in a 14-hour time period, after which they must rest for 10 consecutive hours before hitting the road again. ELDs help confirm this mandate is met, ensuring higher safety for everyone.
  • Efficiency & Accuracy — Keeping paper driving logs could be a hassle, mainly because of the keyword “paper.” With ELDs, this system is completely digitized, meaning it’s less prone to human error and it makes reporting more efficient. And should law enforcement request a driver’s log, they can quickly pull it up on their required automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) and provide a clear picture of the given situation. This means the driver could be back on the road faster.
  • Saves Drivers Money — According to ELDFacts.com, the added efficiencies of a paperless system also enables more billable driving time, decreased fuel costs and reduced man-hours needed to complete and submit paperwork.

The website gives the following example of cost-savings:

“Consider an owner/operator running a flatbed operation at $2.47/mile, averaging 50 MPH, and running approximately 1900 miles a week. That driver would realize:

  • 1.5 hours/week from reduced paperwork = $185.25/week in potential new driving (billable) time
  • 1.5 hours/week of rounding to the nearest minute = $185.25/week in potential new driving (billable) time
  • Commanding a higher rate based on proven HOS compliance ($2.60 compared to $2.47) = $247/week
  • Potential reduction of one OOS violation a year, resulting in one more day on the road = $20.58/week
  • Saving on potential fines from form and manner violations = $6.25/week”

Though there is always an adjustment period when enacting new processes and technologies across an industry, we see several resulting changes from the ELD mandates that are bringing about positive outcomes for drivers and the companies that hire them.For more information about the ELD mandates and their impacts on the industry, feel free to contact us today.

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