Everything to Know About the ELD Mandate of 2017

Updated on February 8, 2018
Oliver George profile image

Oliver has been in the Supply Chain and Transportation industry for over 10 years and is currently an Executive Logistics Consultant.

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ELD Mandate of 2017 and What to Expect

What is an ELD?

It's an electronic logging device that is a DOT (Department of Transportation) device that connects to a vehicle's engine to monitor whether driving hours comply with the HOS (Hours of Service) regulations. These devices record and monitor whether a drive is On/Off Duty or On-Duty but not in transit.

When does the ELD come into play?

Last year in December (2017), the DOT required anyone with a commercial driver's license in the US, to implement ELD devices on all trucks. It doesn't matter if you own or broker the trucks via Third Party Logistics services, all commercial trucks require them.

Why is this happening?

This is been a work in progress for many years. There have been attempts to block the ELD Mandate and most recent examples of this were nationwide carrier strikes in 2017. Many trucking companies have been falsifying their log books in effort to churn more business. This creates drivers being on the road more than they are supposed to and leads to accidents on the road.

At the end of the day, not only is this for safety precautions, it also creates efficiencies in the transportation industry. When fully implemented, it could potentially save an estimated $1.5 billion in paperwork savings and close to $400 million reduction in vehicle accident expenses.

How does an ELD work? Does it help or hurt the industry?

The ELD is connected to the vehicle's diagnostic port. It will then communicate the necessary information to your electronic logbook application on your phone or tablet. This leaves close to no room for error as it reduces a paper trail. It will make carriers more efficient with their time but it will also decrease the amount spent driving on the roads. Therefore, transits within the 450-600 miles range may take 2 days instead of the typical 1. This can create challenges throughout various supply chains.

It promotes safety, accountability and helps drivers stay alert on the roads. As mentioned above, as it helps carriers become more efficient, it will save them costs as well with less drive idle time, better routes and safer highways.

How will this affect the transportation industry?

  • Driver required, 30 minute rest break after 8 consecutive hours have passed
  • Drivers are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours
  • Drivers are not allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle after being on duty 60 hours during any 7 consecutive days. Same with not being able to operate a vehicle after being on duty 70 hours for 8 consecutive days
  • DOT regulations allow drivers to restart their 60/70 hours by taking a 34 consecutive hours of being off duty.

In summary, the ELD Mandate is more important than most realize. It will create a shortage in driver capacity and will in turn increase transportation costs across the board. It's important to understand the reasons behind the implementation as well as the advantages/disadvantages. That way you can be prepared and adjust accordingly. Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or consumer, this will affect all of us.

ELD Fact

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