The Big Guns Weigh In Post-ELD Enforcement Date

Well trucking industry professionals, the day has come and gone, so how do you feel? Does the fact that the ELD mandate is real and right now change the way you do business? If not, it should. Whether we like it or not, living with the ELD mandate is now a part of everyday life for trucking companies and owner-operators.

And with the date come and gone, some big voices within the trucking industry are weighing in on this new paradigm. American Trucking Associations (ATA) Vice-President for Advocacy Bill Sullivan recently remarked that trucking companies, many of whom are ATA members, can now put the mandate in their review mirror and focus their attention on tomorrow’s issue of the day.

Still, as he went on to point out, many within the ATA and industry believe the data gathered from ELD usage will dramatically change how trucking companies do business, from safety, efficiency and logistical standpoints. In the end, being able to detect technical errors or prevent truck driver harassment are both good things. If the ELD mandate is now the law of the day, trucking companies will have to adapt to it one way or another. Is your fleet ready?

ATA President and CEO Chris Spear was also quoted saying the following:

“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 benefits of this rule exceed the costs by more than $1 billion, making it a rule the ATA can firmly support and easily adopt. Today marks the start of a new era of safety and efficiency for our industry and we thank the champions in the Department of Transportation and Congress who have gotten us to this point.”

In later statements, Spear went on to state that his organization believes the ELD will further validate trucking companies who are operating within the hours-of-service guidelines and take compliance very seriously. He cites the potential for less accidents, better safety scores, and an overall increased benefit for truck drivers, fleets, law enforcement and other interested parties.

Adding to the list of voices advocating that the industry accept this change and learn how to embrace it is the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) association, which recently expressed its satisfaction that the mandate has now taken effect.

In their released statement, NTTC President Daniel Furth was quoted saying the following:

“The technology ultimately strengthens the partnership between carriers and shippers by prioritizing safety and compliance in the era of well-documented capacity constraints in the trucking industry. More importantly, ELDs offer professional tank truck drivers–particularly owner-operators–the ability to better manage day to day workloads, ensure accurate pay practices, and improve CSA scores. I think it’s critical to note that ELDs don’t change the existing hours of service rules, they just ensure compliance with those rules which should be the common goal of drivers, carriers, and shippers alike.”

Still, that doesn’t mean everyone is happy. The Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and other trucking interests continue to voice their dissatisfaction. Fortunately, there is a soft enforcement period in effect now through April 1, 2018. Although truck drivers still using paper logs will be facing a potential citation if they are caught, the violation will will not be recorded to their CSA scores until after the April 1 soft enforcement implementation period.

Now the question is, what kind of safety impact can trucking companies, passenger drivers, and others on the road expect from the ELD mandate? Certainly some are happy and some are mad, but as long as people are operating safely and effectively, change isn’t always a bad thing.