Trucking business is one of the most growing private sectors of U.S. economy. Estimated employment in this sector is around 9 million employees. Nearly half of this number are truck drivers. Also, nearly 70% transporting businesses are done by trucks. These numbers are getting bigger every year so the complexity of this business sector is also bigger every year.
That is why employers need to simplify their businesses and easily track the workflow of their companies. That is why they use ELD (Electronic Logging Devices). Electronic Logging Device (ELD or E-Log) is electronic hardware that is attached to a commercial motor vehicle engine to record driving hours. The driving hours of commercial drivers ( truck and bus drivers) are regulated by a set of rules known as the hours of service (HOS).
What is ELD?
As every industry starts to use technology to make their businesses easier, so does the trucking industry also. The most simple definition of the ELD is that ELD is an electronic solution that enables professional truck drivers and commercial motor carriers to easily truck Hours of Service (HOS) compliance. ELD is connected to trucks engine so it can record it the truck is in motion and allow the driver to choose his status (on duty or off duty, or on duty not driving). It can also display a record of duty status, so a driver can quickly see hours in a day.The data from ELD is in the standardized format so it can be used by law enforcement. Data can be transmitted by wireless web services, USB, or Bluetooth 2.0. ELD will effectively catch commercial drivers who ignore federal hours-of-service rules. And any driver who thinks he’s smart enough to simply manipulate the software is in for a rude awakening.But there are some truck drivers who are against ELD saying it kills their time and they can’t finish the job in time. The only thing an ELD can do is tell if a vehicle is moving. People are creative. Technology can always be tweaked for a different outcome. With ELDs, a driver can easily log off when the vehicle is stuck in traffic, that is something you would never do with paper.There are some companies that are against ELD and they were asking for implementation delay of ELD-s , the reason is simple, they want to avoid the law. The inflexibility of hours of service rules while using ELDs has caused detention time to hit drivers harder since implementation.
Also, as every big industry in the USA, trucking industry demands a tone of paperwork and documentation.ELD provides better solutions because of paperwork reduction and some studies showed that ELD is the good solution when it comes to long-term savings of the company. Based on assumptions stated by the FMCSA in its Regulatory Impact Analysis for ELDs, paperwork savings per driver per year are estimated to total of $705 per year in just paperwork savings alone.
Beside of these benefits, ELD also :
- Make it easier, simpler, and quicker to keep driver logs.
- Limit mistakes and reduce form and manner errors.
- Provide information to drivers and motor carriers so that drivers can better manage fatigue and schedule issues.
- Correctly record location and accurate information to easily track duty status.
- Is a good management tool and back office asset to improve productivity and enhance compliance.
- With ELDs, there is less paperwork, and driver logs are orderly, clear, and accurate.
Carriers said that rate per mile was the most important factor in deciding to take a load, followed by the length of haul and a broker’s reputation. The least important factor was traffic on the route.According to DAT, shippers are not taking driver hours of service into account during loading and offloading, with more than 77% reporting wait times of more than two hours on one out of every five loads. And to top it off, when drivers need to stop driving, as many as 87% of them are having a much harder time finding parking since the ELD mandate took effect in December.Despite the growing pains of ELD implementation and some previous fears of a mass exodus of owner-operators from the trucking industry once the mandate kicked in, only 2.8% of those surveyed said they were likely to leave the trucking industry. ELD is more helpful and surely will save lives of drivers and other people on the road.