The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is causing major changes to the industry and is making drivers want to leave the transportation industry instead of using the ELD. The regulation of the ELD rule began on April 1 after a three-month grace period allowing drivers to implement the device.
The mandate requires the use of an ELD to accurately record a driver’s hours of service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that the hours of service restrictions were put in place because of increased risk of crashes and chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep when driving long distances like truckers do.
This mandate is frustrating truck drivers and making some drivers leave the industry so that they don’t have to use the ELD. Before the mandate, truck drivers were concerned about bad weather, accidents or long detention times because of the potential to miss their next delivery. Now, with the mandate, any form of unexpected delay would put that driver over his/her hours of service mark and force them to stop for the night. This hurts the productivity and profit margins for drivers being paid by the trip.
Before the mandate, a shipper might have taken a six-hour run, made a delivery, picked up a new load and then returned home. Today, the same driver would have to stop because of going over the 11-hour driving limit and secure an overnight parking spot to stop and wait until they can get back on the road. Although this mandate is helping to create a safer environment on the road for all drivers, it is putting pressure on an industry already strapped for capacity.
As a shipper, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of the ELD mandate. You can:
- Reduce the number of inbound deliveries entering their facilities through consolidation
- Speed-up driver turn-around in their yards with dock scheduling and order management tools
- Communicate effectively with promise dates, notifications and issues as they come up
- Leverage the power of transportation technology to improve operations (a TMS)
These tips will help you reduce the number of trucks on the road and save money. It will be interesting to see what comes up in the industry in the coming months.