Electronic Logging Devices Have Some Pluses

Powell Slaughter - Furniture Today, November 28, 2017 - HIGH POINT — Implementation of electronic log devices will eliminate any flexibility on hours-of-service regulation and requires constant attention to and adaptation of new scheduling procedures on specialized carriers’ part, but the technology is not without its upside.

While the devices create scheduling issues, drivers who give them a chance are seeing some benefits. Stan Froneberger, general manager, Sunbelt Xpress, said the days of midnight deliveries are over, and drivers who adapt to ELDs appreciate that.

“I had a longtime Georgia driver who told me ‘I’ve never been more rested, and I’ve never planned my trip better,’” he said.

Shelba D. Johnson Trucking lost three owner-operators as it phased in ELDs, but overall that group has been very receptive to the new technology once they realized how much paperwork it would save, according to Richard Tucker, national sales manager.

“Instead of keeping up with a log, they press a button, enter a load code and go,” he said.

Once Brooks-DeHart Furniture Xpress had a year of running on ELDs, drivers had gotten on board. Co-owner Anthony called that early adoption “the best move we ever made.”

“If there’s an accident, you know the driver is driving legally,” he said. “Hours of service are hours of service. … The law is still the same; it’s how they record it is different. If you say you don’t want to run (on ELD), you’re telling me you don’t want to obey the law.”

Murrow’s Transfer already uses ELDs for its longer-haul trucks ferrying relay loads to LTL drivers in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan and will have the devices for its business in North and South Carolina and Virginia, where distances aren’t so great, by the end of November.

“It’s not been as challenging as we thought with the drivers,” said Steve Ennis, vice president of sales and marketing. “A year ago, we thought 100% of our fleet was going to quit, but we started with a core group of drivers that everyone listens to and got them comfortable (with ELDs) early on.”