ELD mandate a 'burden' for small fleets

July 2, 2018 - Less than half of fleet managers believe the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is good for the transportation industry, according to a new survey from Coretex.

One-third of respondents said the hours-of-service (HOS) requirement made it harder to retain drivers, and more than two-thirds said ELDs do not improve driver satisfaction.

"The survey illustrates that companies, especially those with small fleets, view the mandate as a burden," said Craig Marris, executive vice president of mixed fleets at Coretex in a press release. "Yet, now that connected technology exists inside every cab, there is a huge opportunity to utilize this newly captured data to improve efficiencies and productivity for the entire supply chain."

Considering the nation's ongoing truck-driver shortage, trucking companies' overall dissatisfaction with the ELD mandate suggests trucking companies may simply have to push for other improvements to account for the regulation's consequences.

Trucking companies are onboard with the mandate's intent, safety, but probably frustrated with the constraints it compiles on their delivery capacities in the midst of an ongoing national trucker shortage and rising delivery demands, said Steve Tracey, executive director at Penn State's Center for Supply Chain Research, in an interview with Supply Chain Dive.

With paper logging devices, many drivers could hide the fact that they'd been driving longer hours. In a survey in February, DAT found that more than 60% of trucking companies said they were driving fewer miles because of the ELD mandate. 

As companies wait out the trucker shortage — which may take years — they're looking for technology improvements in trucks to enhance capacity, like two-trailer trucks and truck platooning. But those types of advancements are also being held up by regulations, Tracey said.

Marris said companies will have to make the best of the mandate: "It is time for ELD providers to educate the industry on how to turn compliance into a business advantage."

"There's no short-term solution," Tracey said. "Both the government and trucking firms will come up with solutions. It's not something you'll see solved quickly."

Source: Supply Chain Dive