THE COST OF DWELL TIME UNDER THE ELD MANDATE
How long are you making drivers wait to load and unload shipments? As the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate compliance date approaches, this question will become increasingly important.
Slated to take full effect on December 20, 2017, the mandate requires all truck drivers to automatically record Hours of Service (HOS) and related driving data through ELDs. Though many large and medium-sized carriers have already begun using ELDs with positive results, some small fleets and owner operators have resisted due to concerns about costs, privacy issues, and lost productivity. In fact, the Owner–Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has fervently challenged the rule, spearheading a recent lawsuit against the Department of Transportation. Despite their efforts, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case this week, and it’s safe to say the ELD mandate is here to stay.
One of the biggest threats to driver productivity under the ELD mandate is dwell time. It’s not uncommon for drivers to go beyond their HOS limit today to meet shipper demand, but having to fit loading, unloading, and scheduling duties into a stricter timeframe will be challenging when the mandate takes effect.
As a third-party logistics provider, it can be challenging to know how we can best assist when it comes to making a smooth transition come December. Over the past few months, we’ve been collecting feedback from our carriers via surveys and interviews, and passing that feedback on to our shippers for full transparency. The response we get most frequently is that speeding up loading and unloading is the best way to help carriers through ELD mandate challenges.