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Part 2- Are ELDs Making the Roads Safer?

Part 2 of 4

Official highway crash data isn't out yet on ELD safety, but some ELD providers say the loss of paper logs have forced drivers to rest more and be safer.


Are ELDs making drivers more rested and the roads a safer place because of it?

Although official road data from NTSB will not be available for another year, some carriers and ELD technology providers believe that this is the case.

While many long-time truckers have stressed over having to change their ways of notating their data in paper logbooks for most of their careers, ELD manufacturers, trucking firm executives, and technology consultants realize that there are many more gains from the devices than had been expected.

Here, in part 2 of 4, of our ELD Benefits Blog Series, are two more ELD benefits


More rest for drivers

With the flexibility of paper logs being long gone, drivers using AOBRDs/ELDs properly (not falsifying) are actually getting more rest than in the past. This is because several of the tricks that were available when using paper logs to shorten the 10-hour break are not ‘transferable’ to electronic logs. When using an electronic log, 10 hours means 10 hours, not six or seven hours plus three or four hours of delay time moved from the workday into the break (a common trick when using paper logs).

Taylor Howerton, head of SunTrust Bank’s logistics & supply chain industry vertical, had a more cautious opinion courtesy of“We’re hearing anecdotally that the rule has increased safety overall,” he said. “The debate arises when looking at relative sleep patterns within individuals and the limited flexibility for a driver to take rest breaks when and where their body may be telling them they need to on any particular day, which we know can vary greatly between individuals. Future adjustments to HOS rules will likely center on building in more flexibility around rest breaks to account for this variation.”

Drivers should be able to make the decision when to rest with no worries about HOS but sometimes they need to make tough decisions and trade-offs taking many factors into consideration such as traffic, delays, finding safe parking and how tired they are. If drivers are given more flexibility, it may allow them to operate more efficiently and with less fatigue, so this may be a change in the mandate we see in the near future. It may be a little too soon to determine for sure if ELD's are providing more rest for drivers. In time we will have all the data we need to be sure.


Lower driver turnover

New England Mobile turned to and their conversation with an expert on the matter. John Wilbur, CEO of Roadmaster Group, gave his opinion on Driver Turnover and ELDs.

"I believe ELDs will help with driver retention over time,” stated John. “The number one complaint of many drivers is lack of respect. On the road, this lack of respect is often communicated through time. Companies must optimize the productivity of this time to be profitable, and I would argue that most drivers have a higher level of satisfaction when they are performing activities that add value to their companies.”

Introducing ELD data into routing and scheduling automation software also means you can generate transport plans that are based on the true availability of all of your drivers. This will most likely appeal to drivers. You will help maximize their earning potential within the HOS limits while avoiding fines. You can also be sure the assigning of routes to drivers is done on a completely unbiased basis. The system can even factor in an individual driver’s needs, such as shift schedules or days off. All of these are important factors in retaining driver.


Stay tuned for Part 3 in this 4 Part Series.


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