26 DC VELOCITY DECEMBER 2017 www.dcvelocity.com
comes from the engine’s operation, drivers and fleets can
use ELDs to monitor idle times, braking action, and speed.
All of these things make for a better-run and more profitable business.
Will all carriers take advantage of it? No. Some will
take the data, throw it in the corner, and
do what they’ve always done, which is
to deliver freight. I don’t feel operational
efficiencies will offset all the loss in productivity. However, in time and with changes
to shipper, receiver, broker, motor carrier,
and driver planning, much of the loss will
QAre there signs that shippers under- stand what is coming and will, if necessary, reconfigure their supply chains to
ensure their freight gets moved?
AIn my career as a law enforcement officer, FMCSA official, and consultant, I had never spoken to or been
questioned by shippers, receivers, or brokers about anything other than surety bonds. Since the ELD mandate,
I’ve been constantly involved with shippers, brokers, and
receivers, who are all eager to get information.
That said, shippers by and large are not ready for the
mandate. They haven’t taken proactive measures to accom-
modate the driver. They have policies and procedures for
everyone, but none for drivers. Maybe 5 to 10 percent of
shippers currently have policies to accommodate drivers.
As a result, I think there will be a lot of reactive actions
come mid-December. Those shippers who
haven’t thought about managing their driv-
er relationships know who they are. They
will not be shippers of choice, and they will
have freight on their dock that won’t get
Q Do you believe the ELD rule will have a significant impact on road safety?
AYes. There are a lot of drivers and fleets that operate safely, with or without the
ELDs. Then there are drivers who technically run illegally, but it’s 10 minutes here,
20 minutes there. That’s not who the rule is designed for.
We are talking about a relatively small percentage of drivers
that abuse the system to make as much money as possible,
and in the process, fatigue themselves terribly. If the ELD
rules can rein in the 10 percent of drivers who push themselves too hard, then we can see better safety outcomes on
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