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Rob Penner, President & CEO
February 25, 2016

ELD Mandate: Impact on Carriers

2016FEB_Elog_Winnipeg (2)Just as we’ve seen from Drivers, some carriers are also struggling to embrace electronic logging devices (ELDs) and their potential to increase efficiency.

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.

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.

It is vital that carriers understand that this technology serves to increase compliance, promote safety and allow for better administrative management. Some will attempt to use the devices to force drivers to stay on the road, which will have a negative impact on all parties.

Some fleets, for example, will look at ELDs and see it as guaranteed production: the driver has 12 hours to work in a day and we know exactly how long they’ve been on the road, so they’d better use every one of the hours no matter how tired they may feel or how dangerous the conditions.

An example of what an office staff member can see using ELD technology.
An example of what an office staff member can see using ELD technology.

Not only is this driver harassment, but this approach fails to maximize the value this technology can provide to an organization. If a carrier doesn’t invest the time to learn the power of ELDs and how they can benefit that organization, instead using it only to report hours and pressure drivers, it will be a very costly adjustment.

The ELD mandate is certain to change the business environment, but a simple change in how carrier’s choose to approach the technology could be the difference between a successful fleet management tool and a frustrating compliance requirement.

What is your opinion? Are most carriers you deal with ready for the ELD Mandate? Please comment below! 

This is the third installment in a four-part series about ELDs and the potential impact of the impending mandate:

Part 1: ELD Mandate: Pesky Compliance Device or Efficiency Creation Tool?

Part 2: ELD Mandate: Impact on Drivers

Part 4: ELD Mandate: Impact on Shippers

Download the Shipper's Guide to ELDs.

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