As you know, the December 18, 2017 deadline to transition to Electronic Logging Devices has been mandated. Many drivers and carriers had high hopes that the Trump administration would forgo this mandate, but the truth is, that this mandate is still in effect. While there has been opposition on the subject, the ELD mandate was actually brought into effect by republican majority and is supported by the American Trucking Association.
Electronic Logging Devices drastically improve safety on the roads as many Carriers and Owner Operators have already made the switch. Driver fatigue has been a long-standing concern for the FMCSA. Department of Transportation and FMCSA determined that 11.7% less accidents occurred with drivers using ELDs rather than paper logs in a 2014 study. Speed also factors as a concern as over 1,000 fatalities a year take place on the road due to commercial crashes.
Though there has been a lot of controversy from drivers moving from paper logs to ELD’s, most reliable Logging Applications make the change an easy one. “Old School” drivers are often weary about the upcoming change because paper logging has been something they have grown used to and are concerned that the ELDs will compromise the way they do business, or simply because it’s a change they fear they will not comprehend. This shouldn’t be an issue. Today, there are many free logging applications to run, even on an average smart phone, to test and explore the way they work. Many of which, are completed just like paper logs, but easier. With a push of a button, much of the work is done for the driver and will even total up hours remaining to drive, which makes it an easy transition.
Carriers also feel concern that ELDs will be costly or create an issue for losing loyal drivers. While there are certainly costs involved in mounting an ELD, there are also costs that are prevented. Being that ELDs improve CSA scores, insurance premiums tend to be reduced. ELDs can provide additional data when determining risk, when explicitly shared, as well as help with potential lawsuits. Because monitoring logs is required by FMCSA, having ELDs reduces the time spent collecting the data, matching it to fuel, scale houses, toll booths, BOLs, etc.., therefore, any Safety Manager has more time to spend elsewhere. Retaining loyal drivers over ELDs may be a confrontation, but they will also be faced with the same requirement anywhere they may be tempted to go, as Carriers that decline the use of ELDs will be responsible for thousands of dollars in fees per driver using paper logs, if not put “Out of Service.” The only stipulation being, that if an ELD becomes defective while on the road, a driver will then be required to continue logging hours on paper logs until the ELD is repaired.