There’s a normal human reaction when confronted with change. With the transition from paper logs to electronic logging devices (ELDs) as recently mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), drivers are naturally concerned. The change brings two questions to the minds of drivers: How does this affect me personally? And, will it make my life better, or worse?
CMV drivers are independent types; they chose a line of work where there’s no supervisor looking over their shoulders while they are out on the road. When they heard that their vehicles will be electronically monitored, drivers wondered if this is going to blur the line between road miles and private time.
Job satisfaction is crucial for attracting and retaining quality staff. One of the most effective means of ensuring this is through communication and transparency.
Management can (and should) get out in front of the privacy issue. ELD training programs for drivers and back-office workers are part of the plan, but the first message to convey is that ELDs are not intended for surveillance of the operator’s personal time.
To dispel concerns regarding privacy, managers can:
- Explain the Coercion Rule and the FMCSA’s Harassment Protection penalty. These two rules empower drivers to report incidents of coercion and harassment to the FMCSA. The FMCSA is then authorized to issue penalties against carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries and hold them accountable for their negligent behavior towards drivers.
- Clarify how the FMCSA wrote requirements for ELDs based on the Coercion Rule and Harassment Protection penalty to protect drivers from these behaviors.
- Explain details of data collection when the personal conveyance status is selected. The ELD does not record a driver’s exact location when using a vehicle for authorized personal use. It only records within a 10-mile radius to reduce data accuracy and further protect the driver’s privacy.
To a fleet owner, ELDs represent a means of protecting a sizable physical investment. Engine data and location information are valuable in determining truck maintenance schedules and efficiency in routing, to reduce risk and improve fuel efficiency. This allows the company to operate more productively—and that has a positive impact on everyone’s job, the driver as well as the manager.
When sharing the benefits about ELDs, management can explain the other advantages that they offer to those behind the wheel. These include more than just the reduction in paperwork.
Electronic logging devices:
- Protect drivers’ rights. They provide an objective record that can act as evidence against false claims.
- Help the driver spend less time waiting for repairs or inspection, for more time on the road--and increased earning potential.
Most of all, ELDs improve safety. There’s no worker protection more fundamental than a measure that produces a safer job environment.
When drivers understand that these devices won’t be monitoring their every move, the privacy concern can be put to rest. Moreover, when it’s explained that ELDs lighten their workload and give them more--not less--time they can call their own, your vehicle operators will ask themselves why they couldn’t have this technology before.
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