As a society, we are accustomed to a 24/7 news cycle and the overflow of unsolicited information from countless social media outlets. Most times, we do not have the luxury of selecting the conversation or content we want to hear about. And as a carrier in today’s transportation world, there are many things that are a growing concern that need to be front and center. One of those conversations is the implementation and impact of Electronic Logging Devices.
The implementation of ELDs looks as though it will find a permanent way into the transportation world by the end of 2017. There is a very competitive and growing market of ELD providers which continues to expand month after month. Costs for ELDs have been minimized by the approval of smartphone applications by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The most expensive piece for carriers to onboard an ELD program is the one time cost of the cable that connects to the truck (about $175.00) and then the monthly service by the ELD companies themselves – averaging $40.00/month. Long term, this is a much more minimal cost than originally anticipated.
Aside from the cost of implementation, the most popular question is how much of an impact will ELDs actually make on keeping drivers hours of service in check. According to FMCSA, during a surprise nationwide inspection in May of 2016, 12.4% of vehicles stopped were placed out of service due to HOS violations.
It is the hope that ELDs will promote and require safer driving as well as a decrease in HOS fines for drivers throughout the industry. In addition to minimizing fines, many smaller carriers see ELDs as the ticket to creating a level playing field and allow them to better control customers’ expectations. Only time will tell how ELDs will truly impact the market but one thing is for certain – fasten your seat belts because they are coming!