Drivers Speak Out on Changes since ELD Mandate Implementation

Just over a month since the electronic logging device mandate went into effect, replacing traditional paper logs, the effects of implementation are already being felt by shippers and carriers.  We reached out to drivers nationwide, asking for their feedback on changes they have witnessed resulting from the Dec. 18th installation date and here’s what they said:

Greater Accountability

Many respondents agreed that the increase in accountability has led to a greater number of drivers complaining about when they can drive, not drive, or sleep, as they can no longer manipulate their logs like they were able to when they were recorded via paper.

Patience is No Longer a Virtue

The time of waiting around at docks is coming to an end as drivers are becoming more and more impatient as they watch their on duty hours tick away.  One respondent even compared it to a patient in an emergency waiting room, anxious for their turn, complaining at the window if not seen in a reasonable time period, and even walking out after waiting for several hours.

“They expect me to stay put and not eat for detention pay that I may or may not get,” one driver noted, bringing up the importance of the carrier and driver being compensated by their customer for wait time at a dock.  Many carriers are even staying clear and refusing loads from shippers/consignees who have a history of detaining drivers.

“We run into quite a few brokers that are not completely honest about delivery times,” another stated.  “They get put on a ‘do not haul’ list.  You learn what brokers do nothing but offer cheap freight or don’t follow through and you simply avoid them unless the rate is absolutely incredible or the load is a ‘must have,’ getting you home on a moment’s notice or into a desired location.”

Owner-operators stressed that they have no patience for detention as well and are willing to take a lower paying load than to sit around and wait.  “I have a perfect example,” one owner-operator commented.  “A broker offered me a load that picked up by 1600 that day and delivered first come first served next day.  After they accepted my rate, I was later told that they made a mistake and a delivery appointment was required.  I stated that I would need an appointment time around 0900 as I had other shipments for regular customers of mine that I needed to do that day as well.  I was on my way to the shipper and called the broker for a delivery appointment time, which I needed prior to picking up, and he got back to me 30 minutes later and told me that the earliest appointment time was 1600.  I immediately gave the load back and took another that was a few hundred dollars cheaper but I was able to save much needed time I could spend driving as well as money in the long run.

The Ever Tightening Capacity Dilemma

All of our respondents agreed that since ELD implementation, the already tight capacity that the industry is facing has gotten even tighter as drivers are required to take their off-duty hours, with some even leaving the industry after seeing a decrease in profitability as well as running out of hours, leaving them to not get home as often or stranded in imperfect conditions.

“I’ve been in this industry for 8 years but now see myself getting out,” said one female driver.  “While I love what I do, I’m beginning to lose days and money.  Because of wait times at docks and the ELD mandate, I’ve been forced to take my rest, stranding me at times in unsafe places.  It’s also becoming harder to stop and keep up with preventative maintenance or even wash your truck as it comes out of your on duty time.”

Best Time to Make Money

While some drivers are leaving the industry, others see it as an opportunity to make money as the capacity shortage is leading shippers to paying premiums to get their products moved.  “It’s the best time to make money,” stated one driver.  “If carriers had adapted ELDs a year or two ago, it would have had zero impact on their business.  It’s those who did that are making extra profits off of other’s poor business decisions.  People are finally going to be forced to go from charging by the mile to applying managerial accounting to figure out how to charge rates for their services.”

ELDs – Road Scholar Transport’s Preparedness:

*Road Scholar Transport has had ELDs installed in all tractors since September of 2016.

*Currently we are 100% compliant with drivers utilizing ELDs.

*We have been reviewing repeat / routine moves for our major customers and adjusting operations and dedication of certain driver resources to ensure post ELD service levels.

ELDs – We are here to work with you:

*We may want to work together on limiting or adjusting overnight appointments that can help guarantee success.

*Can we talk about any additional visibility and coordination of regular moves/schedule ahead of time?

*What else do you have?  If you combine shipments and/or utilize the same carrier for inbound and outbound shipments you will help maximize hours-of-service.  Talk to us about drop and hook opportunities. 

*Spotted equipment will definitely help!  Do you have ELD concerns?  We can move quickly and do an assessment of your current requirements regardless of carrier and let you know what might be a problem.

Similar topics:

Carriers Say Goodbye to Shippers who Detain Drivers

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ELD Violations Will Not Affect CSA Scores Until April, Group Asks for HOS Extension for Detained Drivers

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