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What drivers need to know about the ELD mandate, Electronic Logging Devices

A Schneider driver navigates the features of his company-provided tablet.

Truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule — congressionally mandated as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) — goes into effect on December 18, 2017.

Specifically, all carriers and drivers subject to the ELD mandate must use either an ELD or an automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) by then. Compliance is expected to eliminate 1,844 crashes, 526 injuries and 26 fatalities per year, according to the FMCSA.

In short, drivers currently working for a trucking company that does not use ELDs, should ask questions and be ready to look elsewhere, or risk your livelihood with a non-compliant company.

Recent ELD mandate studies have estimated that:

  • 3.1 million drivers will be impacted (Journal of Commerce).
  • More than 46 percent of carriers are far from ready (Fleet Owner carrier survey).
  • Most carriers are waiting until the last minute to implement (Schneider independent study).
  • Less than 34 percent of carriers are compliant (Fleet Owner carrier survey).
  • 11 percent of carriers have no plans to implement ELDs (Fleet Owner carrier survey).

Where does this leave you?

Even if carriers do adopt electronic logging devices at the last minute, it will take time for their technology systems, freight networks, dispatch practices and driver training processes to adjust. Do you want your paychecks to suffer while your company figures it out?

How prepared is Schneider for the ELD mandate?

Schneider implemented AOBRDs in 2010, so we worked through the kinks long ago, and drivers are as productive — and compliant — as Hours of Service (HOS) rules allow.

Mario Tobar, Schneider’s highest mileage driver from 2016, racked up 165,874 miles — all with electronic logs. One of his nine tips to maximize mileage:

“Everything is about managing time. You can’t just stop for fuel wherever you want. For my 30-minute break, I take 30 minutes exactly. I know when I have 2 minutes left, then 1 minute left and then I’m ready to go. It’s easy to waste minutes on the 14-hour on-duty time at a truck stop. I plan everything because I don’t like to be under pressure. A lot of people think they don’t have time, but you have time for everything — my wife, my girls — if you just calculate everything.”

For many companies currently running paper logs, driver productivity and earnings potential may take a hit with the ELD mandate. Now, all companies and drivers will have to abide by the same standard — and Schneider knows how to do it right.

In reality, the Hours of Service (HOS) rules are staying the same; it’s just the way those hours are measured that’s changing — from paper logs to e-logs.

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About the author
Author Picture

Andrea is Director of Regulatory Services at Schneider. She has been with the organization since 2004, primarily in safety and regulatory areas. She previously worked in Operations for Schneider’s Tanker division. She holds an MBA from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is an active member of the Transportation Research Board – Truck and Bus Safety subcommittee. She is also a current member of the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) Research Advisory Committee. She lives in Green Bay, Wis., with her family.

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