by Peggy Dorf
The vast majority of owner-operators are ready for the ELD mandate, according to a recent survey by DAT. Many are unhappy with the electronic logs, however, which they blame for a loss of productivity and a resulting decline in income. Plus, it’s harder to find parking for their trucks. Driver detention remains a problem, and shippers don’t seem to be taking drivers’ hours of service into account when loading and unloading, according to the survey respondents.
DAT’s survey of 645 carriers was completed on March 13. Owner-operators made up 93% of the survey respondents, who either run with an ELD (81%) or have an exemption from the mandate (10%) for a compliance rate of 91%. An additional 2% plan to install ELDs before the start of the mandate’s penalty phase on April 1.
Here are some of the high points:
Truckers With ELDs Drive Fewer Miles, Make Less Money
The carriers who use ELDs reported that 67% are driving fewer miles, and 71% are making less money, than they did before installing the devices. They’re finding it more difficult to park their trucks — 26% said it was “harder” to find parking, and 61% said it was “much harder” — since the mandate took effect. Parking issues and driver detention can take up valuable time, and ELDs deprive the drivers of the flexibility they once enjoyed when recording Hours of Service on paper logs.
Owner-Operators Were Late to Adopt ELDs
More than half (53%) of those who are running with ELDs had installed the devices only within the past three months, and another 22% have been using the devices for less than six months, so it’s fair to say that most are still getting used to the new technology.
Detention Affects 77% of Truckers, on 20% of Loads or More
More than 77% of the carriers reported that their drivers are being detained for more than two hours on at least one out of five loads. They observed that shippers are not taking the drivers’ hours of service into account when loading and unloading.