The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) has been mandated for truck use in both the United States and Canada which has brought an end to most paper log books for truck drivers. Paper logs were always subject to scrutiny because they were so often downright cheated on by drivers recording their hours of service (HOS).
Hours of Service require a driver not to drive beyond their allotted hours per shift. Unfortunately, by not taking specified breaks and recording those breaks in their logs they were able to stretch their driving hours, albeit illegally, in order to deliver freight quickly.
Now that technology rules and HOS are recorded electronically, drivers need not use hand written paper logs as the ELD tracks the drivers on duty drive time, break times, off duty time, sleeper berth times, loading and unloading with little input from the drive movement of the truck automatically tracks on duty/off duty times and records them electronically.
The problem with paper logs was that they cut down on a driver’s hauling work by requiring him or her to track all changes in travel time and break times with handwriting in the log book. With log books the driver needed to differentiate HOS by drawing lines on a page and printing the names of locations in a very small space and hoped an officer at a weigh station or roadside stop could read the printing and decipher it. All this paper logging ate up a driver’s time every day. And now it’s done automatically by the ELD, freeing up a driver’s time making all of them more productive and preventing them from receiving an out of service (OOS) order due to fudging a log.
Those of us who have been raised on log books subscribed to the theory of the freight must be delivered immediately, if not sooner. We listened to the dispatchers who said get there at all costs and deliver the freight. That’s what trucking was all about and dispatchers were not looking out for drivers interests or health. That belief only fostered an era of chronic stress and its medical offspring.
With the ELD’s telltale recording of on duty and off duty times required by law, dispatchers are limited now in the ability to coerce drivers to break the law by ignoring the ELD. If the ELD is ignored and a driver continues to drive beyond HOS, that driver will be issued a citation and the owner of the truck will also face a penalty. This is great news for drivers who no longer need to argue with overzealous dispatchers or owners.
Dispatchers and owners must educate their customers as to the limits imposed and regulated by their strict compliance with HOS and that drivers can no longer break the regs. It’s simply a new world order in freight hauling
The benefits of the ELD are far reaching. For instance, drivers are required to take regular breaks and sleeper times. No longer being pressured to deliver at all costs, their stress levels drop to more manageable levels. And rested drivers are more likely to be safer drivers. That will inevitably save lives on otherwise dangerous highways.
Truck drivers’ health will improve with the reduction of stressors. Whether you are a long-time truck driver or a newbie, you are likely to enjoy a career that can be a pleasant tour of North America and getting paid for it. Get on board and thank your new friend: the Electronic Logging Device. It’s here to stay and it can be a huge benefit to you!
If you are looking for ELDs or other heavy-duty telematics devices, BrightOrder likely has what you need. We are the resellers of a variety of industry leading devices, many of which can sync with your Fleet Management and/or Fleet Maintenance systems, such as EMDECS. This technology is not only here to help drivers maintain healthier hours of operation, but can help Fleet Managers and Maintenance Managers handle better Preventative Maintenance, vehicle logs and so much more!