The ELD mandate deadline is quickly approaching, and many drivers are concerned about the learning curve that comes along with adopting an electronic logging device. This learning curve can sometimes be harsh and take time for adjustment, but learning more about the process of ELD implementation and knowing what you’re in for before you make the transition can help. Here’s what you need to know about the ELD learning curve and how it affects drivers and distributors:
The new ELD mandate requires a new system of logging – we know that. Moreover, the changing of technology is where the basis of the learning curve is at. Distributors and drivers need to learn about the ELDs before jumping into work. The new technology the ELDs provide can disrupt day-to-day operations for almost everyone associated with the trucking industry. So, implementing and training now will ultimately help everyone in the long-run, before the ELD compliance date.
The distributors will have to change the way things are done throughout the day. New dispatches and drivers’ routes will need to be in play once the ELDs are implemented. For dispatch, the need for factoring in delays, traffic, or parking (for overnight) times will be enforced once ELDs are implemented. Without factoring times, the drivers might exceed their 14-hour limit or be late on delivery time, making the driver “illegal” or unable to deliver. The route of drivers will be affected as well, making the routes possibly faster or more efficient to get the cargo on time.
The driver will need to learn the steps they need to take for driving. In the days of paper logging, the driver might have turned on their engine and walked away from their truck, getting papers or tying up odds and ends. Now, drivers must be ready to leave once they turn the engine on and ensure that the app is logging when they drive. Moreover, when the driver goes to the mechanic or shop, the driver will need to make a note in the system to state whether the truck is in the shop or being tested. Lastly, the technology in general might be daunting to some drivers that are not used to using smartphones. Some ELDs are dedicated units, but many are “BYOD” ELDs, or ELDs that are in the form of a smartphone app. So, drivers with no experience with smartphones will need to learn the workings of a smartphone, as well as the workings of the ELD and app.
As a distributor, the company needs to set up training dates and tell the employees what to expect, how to work the system, and what to do during day-to-day operations. Drivers need to pay attention during training, ask questions, and study. Like school, the best way to understand something is to read, learn, and study the rules and procedures you need to take on and off the road.
The new ELD mandate comes with a learning curve, but don’t be afraid of it. With a little over six months until the deadline for compliance, starting the implementation and adjustment process now can help drivers, distributors, and others in the industry know what to expect when the time comes.