The trucking industry is a growing and changing business. Oftentimes new proposed rules and regulations come out in an attempt to improve the industry. Generally, people want to promote driver safety, health, and slash costs for those participating in the industry. However, sometimes these changes are met with great resistance from drivers. One example of this is the Electronic Logging Device Mandate.
Electronic Driving Devices
The Federal Electronic Logging Device or ELD Mandate is in full swing, meaning that all drivers keeping paper logs have to switch to an ELD by December 18th, 2017.
An ELD is a small device that connects to a truck’s engine in order to record the date, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, driver information, user authentication, vehicle, and motor carrier information. The device will keep detailed records of truck driver’s habits.
The purpose of ELDs is to accurately report a driver’s HOS or hours of service. The will let carriers know if truckers aren’t putting in enough driving hours or if they’re putting in too many. This way detailed electronic records can be kept to prevent drivers from running over their hours. Carriers will also be prevented from pushing their drivers to work over time.
A severe problem in the trucking industry is driving tired and fatigued. Driving tired is the equivalent of driving drunk and it’s very dangerous. ELDs will help to make sure that drivers get the rest they need.
The ELD Mandate does include measures to prevent ELDs from harassing drivers. Carriers can’t use them to interrupt a driver while they’re sleeping or to push a fatigued or ill driver into driving more hours. Harassment from carriers will be met with fees and penalties.
A few benefits include the fact that less paperwork will be required of drivers, and they won’t have to keep up with paper logs. Plus, ELDs will allow dispatchers to stay updated on their driver’s location, so they’ll have more accurate estimations as to when loads will be delivered.
So, Why don’t drivers like ELDs?
Truckers and fleet owners don’t want to incur the costs of installing ELDs in their rigs, even though prices have recently dropped. Some ELDs are as cheap as $150 and truckers have the option of using their smartphone or tablet as an ELD as long as they meet the requirements.
If they prevent drivers from going over HOS then truckers feel as if they’ll lose money and loads, because they won’t be able to deliver them on time. However, paper logs require you to round up 15 minutes, and ELDs don’t. With an ELD you can drive up to your very last minute for your HOS.
Drivers feel uncomfortable under heavy surveillance. They don’t want to be constantly watched. Even though ELDs only record driving habits, and don’t provide carriers with video or audio feeds, drivers still feel as if they will being monitored too closely.
No one wants to be bothered by notifications. While driving or sleeping, truckers don’t want their ELD to bother them to either drive more or to stop driving. The ELD Mandate has taken action to prevent the harassment of drivers by not allowing carriers to push them when they’re tired, or send them notifications when they sleep.
Also, most ELDS automatically know when to switch in and out of driving mode, based off of the engine’s activity. In order to prevent distracted driving, some ELDs don’t send out notifications until a few minutes after trucks have come to a stop.
What Do You Think?
Here at ExpressTruckTax, we want to know what you think about ELDs. Will they improve driver safety or will they just be a hassle? Please tell us what you think in the comment section below.
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