Electronic Logging Devices: Are These Blessings or Burdens?
Trucking can be a tricky profession to work in whether you’re a driver or the manager of a shipping company. It’s important to keep track of how long a driver is on the road for a number of reasons. While this practice can help drivers log their time more accurately, it can also help companies ensure they comply with safety regulations related to hours of service.
Electronic logging devices will become mandatory for shippers in late 2017, and many are wondering exactly what this type of change will entail and how it will affect the industry. While some are viewing it as a hardship that will negatively impact drivers, others view it as a way to streamline regulatory compliance and ensure drivers get paid adequately for their time.
ELDs have always been an option, but many companies and truckers utilize paper logs or even software in order to log their time. Even though service regulations are designed to ensure drivers don’t become fatigued behind the wheel, many truckers have voiced their desire for a more precise and reliable method for recording time on the road. While this will require many shippers to change out their equipment and become acclimated to the new technology, many are worried that such changes will hinder their business.
Some drivers are well-known for working with certain companies or receivers. These types of business relationships are mutually beneficial, and are often subject to very few contractual limitations. But strict regulations on mileage logging could force these types of work arrangements to be more stringent, even if the results are not favorable for those involved.
Given that shipping will be more accurately regulated, companies may have a hard time accommodating certain drivers. However, this can also mean that drivers who do get hired by reputable companies can look forward to better pay and fairer work schedules.
By having an accurate way to log miles and reference totals as needed, drivers gain more leverage from a bargaining standpoint. Those who want to ensure they’re paid fairly and not put into unsafe work situations will find immediate benefits from ELDs.
Though some trucking companies may be opposed to them based on the time it will take to get used to the new changes, drivers can benefit from these changes in a big way. For this reason, many view ELDs as a welcomed upgrade in the industry.