Understanding The ELD Mandate’s Impact on the Trucking & Freight Industry

Truck and car driving on highway

The electronic logging mandate, also known as the ELD mandate, is an effort by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve the safety of all roadways and increase productivity in the trucking industry.

As of December 18, 2017, almost all commercial freight trucks, must be equipped with an electronic logging device. When the ELD mandate was initially passed, the FMCSA estimated that it would save the trucking and freight industry upwards of $2 billion. This includes about $1.6 billion in paperwork savings alone.

Yet, the adoption of these devices since December has not been all smooth sailing. 67% of those surveyed said that the ELD mandate has led to an inability to secure new shipments. Trucking runs can now take double the time because many drivers do not want to risk being fined for exceeding hours of service regulations. With drivers unable to fudge their hours in paper logs, there is an estimated loss of 10% of total miles driven. Today, drivers are still learning how to comply with the new regulations while maximizing their efficiency.

However, according to the FMCSA, in May 2018 only 0.64% of drivers had at least one hour of service violation.  In May 2017, 1.31% of drivers had at least one violation. Less than only 1% of all driving inspections have resulted in a driver being cited for not having a required ELD.

Though the mandate has taken adjusting, in the long run, ELD installation is a worthy investment. The ELDs’ job is to record valuable information to streamline management operations, reduce time spent on administrative tasks, and overall decrease costs for businesses. With new technology impacting almost every industry and changing the way business is done around the globe, the trucking industry is no exception. The use of electronic logging devices is where the future of the trucking and freight industry is headed, improving the safety and productivity of drivers across the country.