ELD Mandate & Auto Transport

What Is the ELD Mandate?

Back in 2012, the United States Congress passed an ELD mandate bill known as the ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) that would mandate the use of electronic logging devices (ELD’s) for all commercial motor carriers and truck drivers. The electronic logging device (ELD) will replace driver’s paper logbooks and electronically record their Record of Duty Status (RODS) which is used to record their Hours of Service (HOS). Commercial motor carriers will have until December 18th 2017 to put into practice the use of certified ELDs to record their Hours of Service and until December 16th 2019 to be fully compliant.

Benefits of ELD’s for Auto Transport Carriers

In addition to electronically logging in driver’s Record of Duty Status, today’s ELDs installed in trucks and fleets can record information such as vehicle inspection reports, driver behavior reports and even have integrated map and route solutions to assist drivers avoid road restrictions and high traffic areas. The FMCSA is mindful that mandating ELDs may create cost strains for car carriers. To help ease cost concerns, the FMCSA has allowed for the use of smartphones, tablets or handheld devices to be used as ELDs as long as the devices meet all ELD requirements which include a hardwired connection to the truck’s engine. By implementing ELD technology, drivers have turned their main focus back to driving, significantly minimized paperwork and increased communication with their dispatchers for a better planning of loads.

ELD Impact on Auto Transport Industry?

The FMCSA judgment behind the new mandate is first and foremost, safety. In the administration’s own words, the mandate was… “to improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.” It will ensure drivers follow specific safety and compliance standards that could reduce the number of accidents caused by inaccurate logging of hours. The adoption of ELD by small carriers, a large part of the truckload in the auto transport industry, is happening at a slow rate. A number of auto transport carriers have or will be leaving the industry altogether. This means that the access to carriers by shippers will be threatened significantly, at least in the beginning stages of implementation. Charges for detention time may become a norm in the industry. Drivers anticipate a negative affect to their pay for wait times at shippers that will not be accounted for by ELDs. Carriers will begin charging for time they spend waiting on picking up a car or waiting to deliver. Typical transit times, in most likeliness, will have to be reevaluated. Longer transit times are expected while carriers adjust to the new system of rules and regulations.

In Conclusion

Nationwide United Auto Transport is prepared and ready for the challenge to find the right harmony between good safety practices without causing a notable interruption to the auto transport industry. One thing is definite, auto carriers, large and small, anticipate a noticeable impact to usage and quantity. To learn more about this mandate visit the FMCSA website.

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