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Are ELDs Good Or Bad For Business?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Businesses everywhere are looking to keep operational costs low. But for smaller trucking companies, fluctuating costs of fuel, driver shortage, and regulatory compliance makes it difficult to even stay in business. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) reports more and more small carriers, averaging 30 trucks or less, are going bankrupt.

One culprit, they claim, is the enforcement of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by federal authorities that make recording hours of service (HOS) easier and more reliable. 

With ELDs, drivers enter their daily hours from an in-cab display, eliminating paper logs of the past. A clear record of all hours for each driver is stored in the electronic logbook, ensuring drivers and carriers are compliant and safe.

However, since HOS rules regulate the number of hours a driver can operate a vehicle, many of these small carriers saw their vehicle operations drop. Drivers were earning less miles and less money, and many decided to quit. Operational costs were further raised for carriers when they had to hire and train new drivers, often at higher salaries. This financial strain took a toll on a reported 390 small trucking companies, according to Rosalyn Wilson, author of the CSCMP’s report.

It is a rocky time for the trucking industry. But not all carriers are subject to HOS compliance. There are certain HOS requirements that apply to drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that weighs 10,001 pounds or more, transports hazardous materials in a load that requires placards, is used to transport nine or more passengers, and other requirements. To view a full list, check out the FMCSA’s website.

But ELD’s and HOS compliance were put in place to make driver health and safety a priority, and to ensure carriers are not overworking their employees.

The trucking industry, regardless of operation size, cannot ignore safety. Too many stories of driver fatigue and deathly accidents brought about regulations, like HOS. And adapting to government regulations that protect the health and safety of its employees and the general public on the road is of utmost importance in any business.

By incorporating an ELD solution, accurate and fast data entry is at the touch of a driver’s fingertips. The data is automatically recorded and transmitted to a fleet manager’s tablet or desktop for easy-to-use information gathering. An ELD solution can also make it easy to identify the most talented, safety conscious drivers, rating their performance and giving incentives for improved driving. Additionally, identifying drivers who do not comply with company and federal regulations is clearly recorded. For example, drivers who do not complete signatures on their HOS log, or fail to take a lunch break, is all automatically documented. 

Overall, driving safely and under federal compliance can pay off on the road, and in a driver’s wallet.  

Click here to learn more about Teletrac Navman's FMCSA registered ELD solution

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