Are drivers better off with ELD?

The FMCSA ELD mandate for long-haul trucking has been implemented industrywide. Big and small fleets rolling in every corner of the country stand compliant. Without a doubt, fleet operations have increased efficiencies, lowered overhead costs, and successfully taken a very significant step into the future.

(Sample HOS Paper log)

However, the big question remains: Are drivers better off? A number of them will immediately answer ‘No!’ and good fleet/safety managers and owners will empathize with the reasons put forth. More restrictions on (in some cases) already-constricted driving behavior, more time consumed trying to learn a new setup, the same money for more work, etc. Where efficiencies have increased drivers ought to be recognized, rewarded, and reinforced; where profits have increased drivers should earn more. For those drivers who understand that the mandate actually works most in their favor, the mandate has been a blessing as it provides, among many other benefits:

  • Reduced paperwork
  • Active participation of drivers in a compliance regime effecting them most directly
  • Reliable, meaningful legal cover from unjust roadside accusations
  • A rapid learning environment through daily interaction with a highly advanced technology

  • (HOS E-Logs on ELD compliant Device)

    Overall, the mandate correctly placed paper logs in the past with the typewriter. The transition to ELDs has been trying and even unduly burdening to some, and yet the inevitable move to a more technologically advanced business model creates a win-win situation for all. Of course, to ensure this actually happens, managers need to make every effort to provide drivers with ELD solutions that are thoroughly reliable and simple to operate. The data generated must be easy to edit and/or share, whereas the reporting functions must be precise with minimal driver input.

    Bill Saqib
    Co-Founder, McCord Telematics – March 10, 2020