The Unseen Consequences of the ELD Mandate

Another unintended issue of the HOS mandate is the need for speed for some drivers as they try to add miles in order to “beat the ELD clock.” The American Trucking Associations (ATA) says speeding contributes to 18% of all fatal crashes where a semi-truck is at fault. So, the reality is that most drivers don’t live in that 9-to-5 world. Driver’s start a 14-hour day and they can’t regulate the ELD clock. They are forced to keep moving sometimes against common sense, sometimes driving during rush hour instead of later when traffic is lighter. Some drivers report that they feel pressured by pushy company dispatchers to use every available HOS minute to maintain schedules. So, who wins, HOS rules or company pressure to make the deliveries’? Delivery pressures often butt heads with these HOS rules. Drivers often report feeling pressured to drive at a faster speed to maximize use of HOS minutes. Leave a comment to let us know how you feel.

Finalized in December 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the ELD mandate requires commercial drivers to use Electronic Logging Devices in their vehicles when on duty. Intended to improve accountability and gather more information about driver performance and activity, the ELD mandate was—and remains—a controversial law for many drivers. 

Before the ELD mandate, drivers used pen and paper to record their hours. The truthfulness of these paper logs was disputed by government officials who claimed that drivers had a habit of “fudging” the numbers and driving longer hours than allowed by law. The majority of employers and employees were fine with this system, as it allowed companies to make more shipments and drivers to make more money. Increasing commercial vehicle accidents and suspicions that drivers were circumventing HOS rules with falsified logs prompted the FMCSA to take action. 

Despite having been set in place for years, the ELD mandate has brought attention to some serious flaws and problems with Hours of Service (HOS) rules. 

Rather than allowing drivers to make personal judgments and recording their hours on a paper log, ELDs keep drivers racing against the clock to make deliveries and shipments without breaking the law. With ELDS now in place, drivers find themselves making less money, speeding more frequently, and radically changing their sleeping schedule to comply with arbitrary rules, such as having to sleep for 8 consecutive hours. 

Written by Michael Edgar

Michael is a B2B Sales Executive and Lead Generation Specialist from Bentonville, Arkansas. At SalesBuddy, he strategizes with small businesses to get them more leads, increase their sales, and score more contracts.

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