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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about the ELD Mandate

Dec. 20, 2017
The American Trucking Associations, representing the major trucking companies, say benefits of the ELD rule outweigh the costs by more than $1 billion, but some smaller carriers are going out of business as they can't afford the new tech.

While the American Truck Associations (ATA) are welcoming the effective date (Dec. 18) of the “long-awaited requirement for commercial truck drivers to record their hours of service electronically as a step forward for the industry," the co-founder of TranzAct Technologies says, “[Electronic logging devices] are already causing truckers to exit the market."

The ATA says that the “time has finally come to retire decades-old, burdensome paper logs that consume countless hours and are susceptible to fraud and put the safety of all motorists first.”

The group says the benefits of the ELD rule exceed the costs by more than $1 billion.

“We firmly believe that America’s truck drivers – if they were operating legally within the hours-of-service rules before today – will see tremendous benefits in using an ELD,” says ATA CEO Chris Spear. “Whether in reduced crashes, less time spent on paperwork or in fewer errors in their logbooks. The data, as well as our members’ experiences, with this technology tells us that ELDs reduce crashes, increase compliance with the hours rules and ultimately benefit our industry and the motoring public.”

Not so fast, says Mike Regan, co-founder of TranzAct Technologies. He sees a different side of the mandate. His concern is the effect of the requirements on an already tight truckload market. 

“Last week I was visiting with one of our customers asked him about the ELD issue,” Regan explaines. “And he told me that in the past month, three of his carriers had called to notify him that they were going out of business because they don’t like or can’t afford the ELDs.

Regan also cites a presentation by John Seidel, of  Integrated Risk Solutions, who talked about what will happen between now (truckers will be ticketed for non-compliance) and April, 2018, when the grace period expires and carriers are put out of service for non-compliance. 

Seidel also talked about how ELD’s could negatively affect shippers and third parties. “When he talked about how ELD’s could potentially be used in investigations against shippers and third parties over driver coercion issues, I couldn’t help but think that probably fewer than 20% of the shippers in the United States are doing the things they need to do to protect themselves from risks or legal settlements that could run in to the hundreds of thousands–if not multi-million dollar range,” Regan comments.

Stay tuned for more news on how the market reacts to the new mandate.

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