The ELD Mandate: Is it Good or Bad for Business?


Are you not a happy trucker due to the new ELD mandate sweeping the industry?

If so, you’re not alone. A new satisfaction survey gathered by trucking authority Coretex concludes that most distance truckers struggle with the electronic logging device mandate implemented in late 2017.

Here’s an overview of the mandate and how it benefits both truckers and fleets, as well as how it curbs their flexibility.

The ELD Mandate: What Is It?

On December 16, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a mandate for commercial long-distance vehicles. This new ELD regulation states that commercial vehicles must be fitted with an electronic logging device in order to accurately track a driver’s time on the road.

The mandate is supposed to reinforce the hours of service limit. Currently, drivers can’t log more than 14 consecutive hours of driving.

Under this rule, most affected vehicles had to implement the requirements by December 18, 2017. Certain vehicles were given a two-year extension if they had an automatic onboard recording device installed. Furthermore, vehicles whose engines predate the year 2000 are exempt altogether because their engines can’t link to an AOBRD or an ELD.

What Truckers Fear

Though the new electronic device mandate makes logging less of a hassle and helps drivers stay productive, many are afraid of its implications. ELD’s log everything and cannot be edited. This can cause strain between a trucker and his freight company, for instance.

Also, ELD’s are very expensive to install. While the FMCSA implemented this mandate, the government won’t carry that cost.

The Difference Between ELD’s and AOBRD’s

Both electronic logging devices and automatic onboard recording devices are installed into a commercial vehicle. They both rely on connectivity through the vehicles’ engine. also, they both log the vehicle’s activity, but the similarities end there.

Automatic onboard recorders are much less sophisticated. they don’t display specific logging information; they just give a general overview of the truck’s distance driven. they can also be controlled by the driver and edited.

ELD’s are much more thorough in what they display. These computers can function as shipment tracking devices as well as trucking data logs. they cannot be altered by the driver in any way.

The drivers whose vehicles were exempt due to outdated engines still have to log their data. They can choose to write paper logs or use mobile software via phones and tablets to stand in as ELD’s. The paper logging was largely discredited by the industry. It can be tampered with when fleet managers or drivers are scrambling to complete loads on time or make more money per load.

The Benefits Of ELD For Business

The resistance to the ELD rule is due to unwanted expenses and confusion about the guidelines. Both truckers and freight companies are not sure what the mandate means for them. Once this confusion is clarified, the benefits of the system are obvious:

  • Less time spent on logging data means more time to drive.
  • A universal rule for all commercial vehicles means fewer issues with compliance.
  • Companies can easily track their trucks and provide accurate shipping to their customers.

Aside from the above business benefits, the mandate will achieve it’s main purpose: keeping consecutive driving hours in check. this should contribute to fewer commercial trucking accidents, resulting in a win for companies and truckers alike.

Are You Tracking Your Fleet?

Do you feel more confident about the ELD mandate and how it affects your trucking business? Ultimately, you can benefit from the new ELD regulations and increase the productivity of your fleet. Learn more about fleet tracking and other trucking regulation standards by contacting us or browsing previous blog posts.

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