Here at Bison, empowering our people is listed first in our mission statement. Informally, we celebrate the achievements of our people each and every day, but we take one night a year to formally recognize the accomplishments of our Drivers and staff with our Annual Dinner & Awards Celebrations, which take place in each of our terminals across Canada. These awards are meant to celebrate our Drivers’ and Technicians’ hard work and commitment to safety, and to recognize our dedicated office staff that work tirelessly to support our Drivers and push our organization forward.
As the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate looms closer, it’s clear to see why professional drivers should care. As the rule comes into play, here are five ways the ELD mandate is likely to impact our industry.
You may have already read how Bison has the special privilege of being one of 12 fleets in North America to test out Freightliner’s new 2018 Pre-Series Cascadia. If you have, you were briefly introduced to Jack Fielding, who we chose to test-drive the truck.
In order to provide Freightliner with the feedback they’re looking for about this Pre-Series model, we wanted to ensure we chose a Driver who will provide timely, accurate and detailed information in regards to the performance of the truck.
Bison Transport takes sustainability seriously. We are consistently promoting creativity and innovation to drive a sustainable business. We invest in the growth of our people, organization and communities, and embrace our responsibility to the environment.
It’s clear to see that the impending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate will have a major impact on professional Drivers and their carriers, but how will it affect shippers?
With this new technology, a Driver’s clock can’t be stopped once it’s running, so shippers have to focus on how to maximize a Driver’s time to ensure loads can be delivered on-time and within the law.
Bending the rules is no longer an option, and pressuring a Driver to ignore hours of service regulations is certain to be a costly decision under the new mandate.
But more than just having an impact on the ability to move individual loads, the ELD mandate is likely to influence how shippers select carriers and vice versa.
After introducing a base rate increase for Company Drivers in January, Bison is excited to announce base rate increases and a retooled Fuel Subsidy Program for Owner/Lease Operators, set to take effect on April 1, 2016.
Much like the Company Driver pay increase, this base rate adjustment is another example of our commitment to providing an excellent total compensation package, ensuring our Owner/Lease Operators are able to maximize their business' earning potential.
For carriers who see ELDs as a pesky compliance requirement, the impending mandate will prevent them from bending the rules and putting drivers at risk in an effort to make a few extra bucks.
But for carriers looking to use this technology as an efficiency tool, ELDs present an opportunity to improve business performance. Using the data to better understand a Driver’s capabilities and working with Drivers to come up with plans that best suit their wants and abilities will quickly turn the technology into an effective fleet management system for your business.
When utilized as a fleet management system, ELD technology offers several benefits to carriers:
- Reduced Paperwork: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) reports that ELDs reduce the amount of time Drivers spend logging hours of service by over 20 hours per year, leading to $705 per driver, per year, in paperwork savings.
- Lower Crash Rates: Drivers using ELDs see an 11.7% reduction in total crash rates compared to trucks without ELDs. The FMCSA calculates an average safety benefit of $187 per long-haul driver and $126 per short-haul driver, per year, in accident reduction savings.
- Decreased Fuel Costs. The ability to monitor excessive idle times enables fleets to incentivize drivers that increase fuel efficiency.
- Reduced Downtime. ELD users reported a 13% improvement in vehicle utilization according to studies by the Aberdeen Group.
As expected, the impending ELD mandate has been met by plenty of pushback from professional Drivers, who fear the new regulation will result in increased Driver harassment.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which represents over 160,000 professional Drivers and actively works to affect state and federal legislation, has already petitioned the federal courts to block the mandate.
“This regulation is absolutely the most outrageous intrusion into the rights of professional truckers imaginable and will do nothing at all to improve highway safety,” said OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston. “In fact, we firmly believe it will do exactly the opposite by placing even more pressure and stress on Drivers than they already deal with.”
While there is potential for carriers to abuse the power of ELDs and force Drivers to run when it isn’t safe, it is important for all stakeholders, including Drivers, to understand the power these devices have to be efficiency tools, increasing Drivers’ earning potential and pushing our industry forward.
The recent electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in the United States has sent ripples through the North American trucking industry, as drivers and carriers alike are upset with the ruling, arguing that it will, in fact, hinder driver safety and lead the industry to be less efficient.
The argument from drivers is that carriers will abuse the power of being able to know exactly how long their drivers have been on the road, forcing them to run their maximum hours of service even if a driver is feeling tired or unsafe on the road.
Carriers, on the other hand, argue that it will reduce efficiency as drivers will be unable to “turn off the clock” while waiting for loads and be prevented from maximizing their daily mileage. And what happens if a driver is just a few miles from his destination and runs out of hours? Are we really going to force him to pull over for the night?