The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires ELDs on all trucks by 12/18/17. Essentially, this means drivers will no longer have written log books, and errors contained on those logs will disappear. The ELDs, when calibrated properly, will demonstrate with certainty, how many hours a driver may drive.
This is a major development in capacity, and in freight security. The fines carriers receive from law enforcement for breaking hours of service are severe, and will likely continue to worsen. Likewise, shippers will undoubtedly see changes in carrier behaviors that might seem frustrating. For example, in heavy traffic, or delayed by weigh station, a driver may run out of hours just minutes from pickup or destination, and shut down (as they should anyway). With the new “Driver Coercion” laws in effect, pressuring the driver or carrier to proceed, in the name of service, timeliness or safety will land someone in jail!
It’s all part of a seismic shift in how we understand the freight transportation market, and how we manage our businesses. The new regulatory and supply/demand dynamics require new thinking, and savvy planning and communication among business partners. Some experts who study disparities between traditional logs and ELDs, have found as high as double-digit percentage errors between the two. Whether it’s a percent or two, or 10% or more, you should plan on capacity disappearing over the next 23 months, with the conversion from paper to ELD. How solid is your capacity? Talk to Tucker.