Impact of the ELD Mandate in the Trucking Industry

Impact of the ELD Mandate in the Trucking Industry

Those within the trucking industry are feeling the effects of the ELD mandate, and it has impacted consumers as well.

ELDs, or Electronic Logging Devices, are meant to track truck drivers’ hours of service (HOS) to ensure compliance with regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As of December 16, 2019, all carriers and drivers who apply to the ELD rule must use ELDs. The ELD mandate has been a subject of contention among those within the trucking industry. Carrier companies, law-makers, and truck drivers alike have their own opinions of the mandate. The new rule also impacts the various customers and consumers who rely on the trucking industry. 

Briefly: What is the ELD mandate?

ELDs aren’t a radically new piece of trucking technology as many commercial vehicles have been slowly but surely moving towards digital records of service hours and keeping records of duty service. Previously, many truckers would log their hours on paper, which can make the recorded information easily fabricated. With the ELD mandate requiring all fleets to use ELDs, it’s a means to hold drivers more accountable to the hours of service rules. The HOS rules dictate the following:

  • Truckers may drive 11 consecutive hours during their on-duty window of 14 hours
  • Truckers must take a half-hour break during the window of 14 hours
  • After the on-duty window is over, truckers must take 10 consecutive hours off-duty

The main reason for policymakers supporting these rules is to reduce the number of fatigued drivers on the road, which can decrease the likelihood of dangerous and costly accidents from occurring.

Truck Drivers

Many truck drivers are frustrated by the ELD mandate. This mostly stems from the inflexibility of the HOS requirements and rules they must follow. Truckers get paid by miles traveled, not hours worked. There is typically already a lot of wait time, or time spent not driving, by truckers waiting for freight and loading. Even when on the clock, drivers won’t see this necessary wait time reflected in their pay, as they are not driving. The imposed time limits according to the HOS rules work against a driver’s realistic day-to-day schedule, and their pay suffers for it.

Trucking Companies

Trucking and carrier companies care very much about their drivers’ safety, while they also certainly don’t want to incur any fines for violating the rules. Throughout the trucking industry, companies have increased wages to entice new drivers to work for them. There was already a shortage of drivers, and the ELD mandate has only made it more difficult for the limited number of truckers to keep up with operating demands.

Shippers and Consumers

Shippers, or the suppliers such as retailers, still need their products transported to store shelves and other businesses. Retailers compete for carrier companies’ business by offering high freight rates, which carriers are all too eager to take advantage of. As a result, everyday consumers are seeing the price of goods go up across the board since retailers must raise their prices to make up for the shipping costs.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 24th, 2020 at 4:32 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.