It has been eight months since drivers using electronic logging device (ELD) mandate and it’s becoming clearer. Also, it’s both greater and less than anticipated.
When ELDs were coming into our era, it was widely expected that tens of thousands of truckers would turn in their keys and quit trucking for good after the mandate fell into place on December 18, leading to an immediate capacity crisis just weeks before Christmas. The capacity crisis exists but not because there are no drivers, there may now be more truckers than ever.
Over 542,000 drivers entered the workforce since 2012, according to federal data analyzed by Trucker Company Worldwide. It took place five months after the ELD mandate took in effect and one month after its enforcement deadline.
There was another expectation wave of out-of-service orders on truckers at the time full enforcement began on April 1. That didn’t take place as well. Less than 1% of roadside truckers got cited because of not using ELDs.
Also, the percentage of driver inspection with at least one hour-of-service violation dropped from 1.19 to 0.64 % starting from December and ending in May. The percentage was stuck at about 0.84% from January to March and fell again as ELD enforcement took effect.
In fact, what did take place was widespread compliance with the ELD mandate and with hours being logged by the specially designed device. It was not a problem that ELDs caused driver loss but driving hours. By that, some shipment transit times got extended.
A petition from the Small Business in Transportation Coalition seeking an exemption for all truck operators with less than 50 workers. The US Senate passed legislation that would enlarge an existing for agricultural haulers.
The odds are against federal regulators or Congress approving a blanket exemption. They’re more likely to revise the HOS rules or tinker on the edges of the mandate. At this point, that influence increasingly looks not-changeable.