Truckload carriers have to abide by several rules. In 2019, they have to watch out for some new regulations. Last year the trucking industry was transformed by the ELD mandate. According to this mandate, which is a U.S. federal government regulation, the operators of commercial motor vehicles are required to use electronic logging devices (ELD). All government regulations have a direct impact on the industry and most rules are made in an effort to either modernize the industry or to make it safer to work in.
Some trucking companies were already using the Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) when the law was introduced. These were considered excluded from the mandate but were required to make a switch over to the ELD. The main reason for the switch is that the two technologies are different from one another. While ELDs are basically integrated into the truck’s operating system, the AOBRDs may not be well integrated. They could just be an app on the cell phone that does not plugin. The new laws require almost 50% of the truckers to either replace or upgrade their systems. Driver behavior is expected to change with the new changes and fleet operations as well.
There are many big names in the industry that rely on AOBRDs and these too had to invest money in making the switch over. The smaller companies that were not using any logging devices have seen a drop-in productivity. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants all carriers to abide by the new laws. Large carriers are experiencing some problems in switching over to the new rule. For them, it is best to make use of a change management program in order to prevent a fall in productivity.
FMCSA was formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration. Its mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related accidents, deaths and injuries. All its activities are focused on safety in trucking operations. It targets high-risk carriers and commercial vehicle drivers and is always looking to enhance information systems to promote safety and safety awareness. FMCSA works with Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies to achieve its goals.
Since the new advancement in technology, FMCSA has enforced data driven regulations and is targeting educational messages to drivers, the public and also the carriers. Another new regulation has to do with the hours of service (HOS). Drivers have complained about long working hours and need more rest breaks. FMCSA is holding sessions with drivers to listen to their complaints and will be soon coming up with new solutions to their problems. Another new regulation in the making has to do with the new minimum wage rules. Some drivers come up with lawsuits regarding low wages and hours. Employers that have operations in various states have to abide by the state laws and offer the right wages.
To find eligible drivers the carrier companies want applicants to take a drug test before they get hired. The new laws require all employers to check the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database for drug and alcohol-related violations as part of screening candidates for the driver positions. Under the new laws, the driver hair follicles can be used instead of urine for the detection of drugs in their system. Drugs stay in urine for a few days and in the hair follicles for 60 to 90 days. New California-specific laws have also been introduced and these have to do with work breaks and classification of owner-operators and independent contractors.
The more established truckload carriers have installed ELD devices and follow all rules and regulations. Their drivers are well trained and ready to serve clients in a safe way. If you are hauling goods on the highways make sure your carrier has the necessary electronic logging devices. This way you can be sure of the safety of your goods. Drivers get turn by turn directions to follow hands-free. The system automates alerts in the event of hard-braking, speeding and grave events during an accident.
The ELD devices help with insurance claims and settlement of liabilities. During an accident, the event is captured well. All risky behavior of the driver is logged, and the trucking company can use the data to retrain its drivers. A company can use reports on the driver that helps with decision making. This helps a trucking company reduce fines and monitor speeding.
The best benefit of the ELD for truckload carriers is shorter transit times. Drivers get instruction at every turn and this way they get to their destination sooner. They can take the shortest route without getting lost. This way the fuel cost is also reduced as the device prevents the driver from taking a long route. Customers get happy when their goods are delivered promptly and in safe conditions. This makes drivers more productive and the trucking company can run efficiently.