If you receive our newsletter, you know that we warned that ELD's were going to be mandatory starting April 1 -- and no, it wasn't an April's Fools joke. It went into affect, and police all over the United States have been cracking down on drivers.
While we here at On Time Capital always urge drivers to be safe, we are also aware that some drivers "fudged" their numbers a bit so they appeared to drive less than 11 hours a day. Now that ELD's (electronic logging devices) are required, drivers are going to be driving less and pulled over for rest more. For every 11 hours of driving, drivers are required to rest for 10 hours.
This is not going to help with the current trucker shortage, nor is it going to help with rising prices. We know quite a few truckers are frustrated with the mandate, and many are saying it has cost them a significant amount of money. Some truckers are tempted to drive faster to make up for the missing time. Here's what one trucker said [sic throughout]:
"By using the ELDs I have lost money and loads. By running ELDs this throws safety out the window.I see and hear drivers running up against the clock to find out when their time is up there is no place to park. Speeding in construction zones . Tailgating other drivers cutting drivers off. just to get that extra mile. Yes there should be no difference then paper logs. But this cause drivers to driver wreckless. thinking they will miss an apt to get fined by missing an apt. ELDs causes driver to drive beyond safe. T Stops is taking away free parking to turn them into paid. Knowing parking is so hard to find.. There nothing safe about ELDs and will result in accidents injuries and death.to many is benefiting from ELDs and its not the drivers. FMCSA at least change the HOS where we can stop the clock to take a break and not lose our time. Something got to be done."
So what can be done? First, be sure to follow the rules. We know that being just an hour away from your destination is tempting to keep driving, but the fines are not worth it. Neither is being placed Out of Service, which is the common penalty for those caught without an ELD. Once placed OOS, the driver will not be allowed to drive for ten hours. You can then continue to your destination, but you will not be allowed to drive again until you obtain an ELD. Another penalty could be points under CSA's Fatigue BASIC.
Second, plan your trips in advance to allow for this. There are some great dispatchers out there, and any of them worth it will keep the new ELD's in mind. In case you're not aware, we can help you with this! We have partnered with dispatchers to help you make the most of each trip. You're guaranteed to make money, or your next week of loads is at no charge. Give us a call! (469) 651-1220.
Third, be sure that your ELD is actually ELD compliant. Unfortunately, not all of them are. The list changes from time to time, so keep an eye on it.
Next, keep the following on hand at all times while you drive: The ELD user manual, instructions on what to do if your ELD malfunctions, instructions for transferring, and a supply of paper logs as backup, just in case. Be sure to note that if your ELD malfunctions, you must have it replaced within eight days. In the meantime, keep paper records.
There are a lot of rumors flying around about what the ELD mandate does and does not require. Be certain that you're informed correctly. You can click here to visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and get information directly from the source.
Stay safe out there!