An addition to the tractor trailer parts list isn’t exactly eagerly anticipated. Government-mandated Electronic Logging Devices will soon be part of the gear in truck cabs.
More than 3 million truckers will have to replace the paper log books that have been part of the job since the 1930s with the electronic devices.
Not everyone is a fan. JOC.com reports:
There is widespread concern among shippers that the ELD mandate will lead to reduced truck capacity in 2018, by driving an unspecified number of drivers and small carriers out of the business and by cutting into the time drivers can spend on the road each day and week.
That disruption in truck utilization could remove 2 to 5 percent of available capacity, according to most sources, though others believe the impact will be greater. In fact, the impact for shippers could vary from lane to lane, depending on how efficiently the shipper operates.
“Any inefficiencies will be exacerbated by the rigidity of the ELDs,” Randy Mullett, founder of Mullett Strategies said during a Nov. 14 webinar by NASSTRAC and TranzAct Technologies. He said small carriers that “have been the shock absorber of this industry” may shut down.
The trucking industry is far from prepared. Although many large trucking operators already use ELDs or older automatic onboard recorders, several surveys have shown tens of thousands of small trucking firms have balked at purchasing and installing the devices.
The Memphis Daily News reports that trucking firms are scrambling to comply with the new rules and get the new tractor trailer parts in place, amidst plenty of grumbling. Here’s the business newspaper:
Earlier this year, some truckers participated in “ELD or Me” protests in Washington, D.C., while others took to the streets in Fresno, California, to protest the implementation of the rule, which has proved controversial among small owner-operators.
“We’ve had drivers quit over it because it will have the tendency to reduce the number of hours they can work,” said Ozark Motor Lines safety compliance manager Larry Phillips. “Once everyone is on [ELDs], it will restrict what they can do because the drivers who were on paper logs before could fudge their numbers.”