The electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in December 2017 has had a significant impact on the transportation industry, but not in the ways many expected.
In contrast to some industry forecasts, there has been widespread compliance with the order. Drivers and carriers did not exit the industry en masse, and Hours of Service (HOS) compliance has improved since full enforcement began on April 1, 2018.
Red Classic, along with many other of the nation’s largest carriers, adopted electronic logs years ago. Because we had already adjusted our operations, the FMCSA mandate had little effect.
Carriers that waited to implement have reported the most significant impact to be extended transit times. Many of their 400-600 mile lanes that once took one day now take two.
Driver reactions have been mixed. Some drivers were hesitant to adopt electronic logs due to fear of reduced earnings. At Red Classic, we recognized that through proper training and utilization of ELD data, we could increase efficiency and work with customers to reduce detention time, benefiting both customers and drivers.
Across the industry, the biggest impact to date may prove to be increased compliance with HOS rules already in place. Utilizing electronic logs synchronized to a truck’s engine rather than paper logs ensures both carriers and drivers operate within HOS rules.
Currently, federal lawmakers and the FMCSA are reviewing potential additional exemptions and revisions to the regulations. The final phase of the mandate, which requires mandatory use of ELDs by all drivers and carriers subject to the rule, will go into effect December 16, 2019.
- Detention times are now more visible. Work with your transportation provider to minimize load and unload times and improve efficiencies.
- Carriers that have not yet done so should refine their policies to align with ELD rules and improved technological capabilities.
- Understand that the HOS rules were put in place to reduce driver fatigue. Emphasize the positive safety aspect of the rules to your drivers.
- If currently using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD), make plans to comply with the ELD Mandate by December 16, 2019.