Will the Upcoming ELD Mandate Put Small Carriers Out of Business?
Trucking regulations have always been a tricky topic. Legislation has affected the trucking industry in a variety of ways. From the speeds at which truckers may travel to the amount of emission their vehicles are allowed to produce, nearly all aspects of the occupation are affected to some degree by legal mandates. But while there are many regulations that the trucking industry on the whole is fine with, some have the potential to hurt the performance of certain trucking companies.
Smaller carriers have often been accused of filling out paper logs in an accurate manner to skip rest breaks and complete routes faster with less drivers. But new electronic logs will force drivers to be much more detailed with their reporting, and could result in a smaller carrier being unable to complete their routes without hiring additional drivers – which they may not have the money to do.
There has always been a concern that regulatory measures are a threat to small businesses. In a fragmented trucking market that depends on the efforts of numerous small carriers, this could prove especially problematic. While most carriers are more than willing to adhere to regulations so long as they are designed to actually create safer conditions, many maintain that these regulations will do no such thing.
The result may be that smaller carriers will have to cut expenses from other areas in order to survive. As the year is approaching its end and the ELD mandate is soon to be enacted, nearly 3.4 million drivers will be affected according to a report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Though savvy business owners may do all they can to survive in spite of this mandate, not all of them may achieve the result they want. Dan Clark, head of BMO Transportation Finance said: “Some of the smaller (trucking) companies are just not going to survive.”