ELDs and Income: First-Hand Accounts and Assumptions

Overdrive recently wrapped up a series featuring Wes Memphis, a former owner-operator turned company driver, who chronicled his experiences using an electronic logging device during the 2016 trucking season.

In one article titled “Income and ELDs: The ‘rest of the story’ with Wes Memphis,” Wes’ income difference — comparing that of a year without ELDs to a year with ELDs — is the main feature. So, when Wes compared income figures from 2015 (without an e-log) to 2016 (using an e-log), he discovered that he actually gained about $50 during the year he used an ELD. Now, he does admit that a few gravy runs and some other company changes helped him reach this positive figure, but overall, he doesn’t seem to see the mandated changes as a whole-heatedly negative experience. He says, “When people tell you you’re going to automatically lose 15 percent on e-logs, ask them how long they have been on them. My guess is the answer more times than not will be never.”

But that isn’t the end of the story. After several scathing remarks in the comments section, Wes and the article’s editor, Todd Dills, decided to revisit the topic with “Wes Memphis answers your questions on ELDs’ potential income effect.

ELD Income Polls

Along with Wes’ personal responses to many of these comments, this follow-up article highlights and debunks that which many fear — that e-logs represent a threat to income. This can be seen plainly in OverdriveOnline.com‘s poll, conducted over a couple of weeks, which shows 91% of drivers expect that ELDs are connected to a negative income effect. Only 6% of respondents expected a positive income-to-ELD association, thereby leaving 3% of poll-takers assuming there would be no income effect. The most important thing to note here, however, is that all of these polls were taken from those who are not yet running ELDs.

For those who are already running ELDs (mostly leased owner-operators), the story looks much brighter. In this second survey, 16% of drivers actually associated ELDs with a positive income effect and 36% saw it as having no income effect, thereby leaving only 48% of drivers associating e-logs with a negative income effect.

Get the Best ELD App

All-in-all, Wes understands that transitioning to ELDs can be a mixed bag, but the message he carries is this: “This isn’t always easy, but it’s not doomsday either.” For him, that doomsday feeling faded significantly when his company got “rid of the crappy app program they had, and [put them] on a better e-log device.” Our advice to you? Make sure you and your company check out the My20 app from Konexial — it’s not only designed to be the best ELD app around, but it’s also the only app that aims to be the best support system a driver could ever need.

To read more of Wes Memphis’ transition to ELDs, including “More ELD questions answered by Wes Memphis,” visit Overdrive’s Wes Memphis page.