The Trucker Chronicles

Implementation of Electronic Logging Devices:

What Does This Mean for Truckers?

 Something you may have noticed about the trucking industry is that it is always changing and trying to become more efficient. It should be no secret that freight transportation can be quite expensive, which is why carriers and shippers want to get as much as possible from each shipment.

In addition, trucking industry leaders are always trying to become safer and protect their drivers from the effects of fatigue and overwork. Electronic logging devices are the next big thing in this industry, and implementation is set to begin in September 2015. While you may be aware of the use of electronic logging devices there is likely one question you still ponder—what do they mean for you?

 How Do Electronic Logging Devices Work?

Basically, electronic logging devices in trucks provide a huge amount of data to drivers, carriers, and shippers. The device runs whenever the truck is on. It collects data on miles driven, time driven, speed, hard stops, breaks, and fuel efficiency, to name just a few areas of data collection.

This data can be retrieved and analyzed in many different ways. Companies may look at your performance over one day, one week, two weeks, or the entirety of your career.

 Why Are Trucking Companies Using These Devices?

Many companies have already adopted these logging devices, according to Overdrive Online. Some of these companies include Frerichs Freight Lines, Building Products, and Continental.

You may see trucking companies use this data in a number of ways in coming years. Owners may look for ways to improve driver performance by looking at fuel efficiency, speed, stops, and routes. Furthermore, many companies want to ensure that their drivers are working safely. With electronic logging devices, they can look for unsafe driving patterns, implement improvement plans, and reward drivers who employ safe driving habits. They are also thought to be able to reduce human error, as well as prevent falsification of logs.

 Changing Laws in the Trucking Industry

The most important thing you need to know is that as of this time, electronic logging devices are set to be required, starting in the year 2017. The federal government recently passed a mandate that requires all fleet trucks to be updated with electronic locking devices that are up to their high standards. The government’s goal with this mandate is to improve industry outcomes and promote highway safety.

The two-year wait between the passing of the mandate and when it will be enforced allows trucking companies to get up to code, as it can be fairly expensive to get trucks implemented with this equipment.

 What Does This Mean for Semi Drivers?

If you are a truck driver, you may wonder how this is going to affect your career, your driving habits, and your income. It is common to be worried about industry changes and how they might affect the industry or your individual career. However, like all changes that have gone through this industry in recent decades, the electronic logging mandate should improve this field.

In fact, some industry leaders expect this change to bring a lot more money into the field. They note that this mandate and its cost puts pricing squarely on the side of trucking companies, which may allow trucking companies and owner-operators to charge more for their services.

This move may also allow trucking companies to save money, as experts predict that it will save about $395 million per year, since drivers will not need to complete and process paperwork.

Though it may take you some time to get used to having an electronic logging device in your truck, you should quickly acclimate to using it as a resource and driving safely and efficiently.

Undoubtedly, electronic logging devices will change the trucking industry forever. As your company adopts this mandate, we’d love to hear how it has personally affected you, as a driver. Leave your comments below and tell us what you think about electronic logging!

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