A new nationwide rule going into effect in mid-December means truck drivers without electronic logs will begin facing the consequences of not using electronic logging devices, or ELDs.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued the final rule in 2015 requiring most motor carriers and interstate truck drivers to start using the electronic hardware to improve safety and ensure drivers are complying with hours-of-service regulations.
Industry leaders have succeeded in delaying the new regulation repeatedly, out of concern the new requirements will be costly and drive away truck drivers.
But beginning Dec.18 truck drivers caught operating without an ELD will be cited.
Team Hardinger is well prepared for the critical regulatory change. The company moved from paper logs to electronic logging devices in 2011, the first in the region to do so. As a result, Team Hardinger’s dispatchers and drivers have been through the culture change required to operate within the strict compliance of ELDs.
Many carriers, however, have not integrated ELDs into their entire fleets. That will cause complications and challenges for those companies in terms of reduced driver productivity during a time when the trucking industry is experiencing record amounts of freight moving through the country. Those numbers are expected to continue trending upward in 2018.
“ELD technology allows our dispatchers to trace up-to-the-minute locations of our trucks, and also gives us the ability to track information like speeds and stops,” said Doug Ladds, Team Hardinger’s safety manager. “We review that information daily to find new efficiencies and incentivize drivers to meet safety goals.”
The payoff: Team Hardinger’s drivers reported zero reported liability losses during its 2016-17 policy year and currently ranks in the top 7.8 percent of all U.S. carriers for safety.
“Our safety record is a number every member of our team is proud of, but are always striving to improve,” Ladds says. “We have found ELDs help us improve in those areas.”