ELD requirement may lower trucking industry efficiency
By 2017 the federal government expects the whole truck industry to be onboard with the ELD program. ELDs may have been adopted by most big carriers but small trucking companies are still holding out. The decision for them to hold out till the end might be a bad one, as the drivers will not have enough time to get familiar with them. John Larkin, a prominent figure in the trucking industry and the MD of Truckload Carriers Association has said that the overall efficiency of the trucking industry will also be lowered because of these devices. He says that a decrease in efficiency will be seen across the board, for small and big companies both.
ELDs are a way for the federal government to try to solve the sleep apnea problem with drivers. Drivers have irregular sleep patterns as well which can result in them causing fatalities due to weariness. While the number of such incidents is low, it isn’t low enough. The issue was that there is no proper way to measure the amount of rest a driver has had. There are invasive medical devices which can measure such stats but they are unsuitable for practical applications. Thus the federal government has instead focused on tracking truck usage and through that tracking the amount of rest the driver is getting. It is not a perfect solution by any means; just because a driver stops his truck doesn’t mean he is sleeping too, but it is the only clear solution available right now.
What is interesting is that John Larkin, by saying that Electronic Logging Devices will lower efficiency, almost admitted that drivers overwork themselves. The issue has been raised again and again of drivers with routes that take too much time. When the route is 9 hours long and the drivers have already driven 7, they prefer going the extra two instead of taking some rest and completing the rest the next day. Situations like these result in drivers working longer hours than recommended. There were also concerns due to many anecdotes of drivers who logged in the wrong time in manual systems to hide the fact that they drove more than recommended, which is why the electronic logging devices are becoming a requirement. Whether the benefits are worth the decrease in efficiency remains to be seen, as it is not clear that the ELDs will lower accidents. – See more at: http://truckernews.com/eld-requirement-may-lower-trucking-industry-efficiency-p759-90.htm#sthash.9iXG3Aet.dpuf