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ELD - How Do I Answer My Drivers' Concerns?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

When a new technology, system or procedure is introduced, there’s a natural tendency for those who have never used it to feel apprehensive.

Many drivers who are current ELD users say that they felt the same way at first but now assert they would never wish to return to the old record-keeping methods. ELDs have made their jobs so much easier that turning back the clock is unimaginable.

Here are some inaccurate assumptions about ELDs and the facts:

ELDs are advanced technology, so they must be a lot of trouble to learn.

Generally speaking, more advanced technology is more, not less, user-friendly. A hundred years ago, the driver of a Model T Ford needed to perform a sequence of operations with the magneto switch, throttle, spark lever, choke and hand crank just to get the engine started. Compare that to starting a car today.

Even a few decades ago someone using a simple telephone might have believed that today’s smart phones are much too complex for a typical person to operate. We’ve learned it without too much trouble.

ELDs make driving more complicated.

The reality is that this technology makes things simpler. For a driver, filling out paper log sheets takes time and requires that a driver remember to keep track of what he or she is doing. With an ELD, it’s basically set it and forget it.

An ELD records HOS automatically and recognizes the difference between drive time and stationary activity.

ELDs are monitoring driver behavior 24/7 and represent an invasion of privacy.

Not true. By law the ELD mandate includes provisions that are privacy safeguards.

Every ELD incorporates a muting function operated by the driver, to allow uninterrupted sleep and off-duty time. Another design feature limits the system’s ability to track its location during off-duty hours. 

None of the information captured by an ELD is automatically transmitted to law enforcement agencies or inspectors. It does not report HOS violations to authorities.

An ELD can make operating a vehicle more dangerous if a driver has to hurry to the destination before the device shuts down the vehicle.

Remote shutdown technology is not part of the ELD mandate and is not in most of these devices.

Maybe these devices boost profits for the employer but they don’t offer any real benefit to drivers.

ELDs offer significant benefits to drivers. Some examples:

Less paperwork

FMCSA estimates that drivers spend several hours per month filling out driver logs. ELDs perform the logging function automatically, reducing the amount of time that drivers must process paperwork.

Fewer errors

Mistakes can be made when drivers complete logs manually, requiring time and effort to find, fix or explain. ELDs can minimize human error.

Helps driver manage duty hours

A system that monitors HOS can alert the driver when a required break is necessary, to reduce violations.

A career builder

ELD records provide a driver with documented, objective proof of good performance which can lead to bonuses, higher wages or the next great job.