Ever since Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) came out years ago, there have been a lot of rumors, myths, and misinformation. There’s no doubt that this is a big change in the trucking industry, but having all the facts is the first step in being prepared. In our earlier post “Trucking Electronic Logging Devices – Are Your Ready” we covered how all truck drivers will need to transition from paper logs to electronic to document their adherence to federal regulations.
Today, we’re going to review some of the top ELD Myths that have been circulating, with clear facts that put those arguments finally to rest.
Myth 1: ELDs will put owners/ operators out of business
Fact: Once most commercial truck drivers have adopted electronic logging
devices, they refuse to return to paper logbooks.
Myth 2: ELDs are too expensive
Fact: With today’s technology, ELD prices have dropped considerably due to smartphone/tablet compatibility that reduces up-front costs. Decreases in technology hardware costs overall have contributed to lower ELD prices.
Myth 3: ELDs require truck driver interaction on the road
Fact: A driver does need to log into a device. And, it’s true that status must
be selected indicating Off-Duty or Sleeper Berth; there is no system today
that can — or should — identify those tasks automatically,
Myth 4: An ELD will automatically report HOS violations to law enforcement
Fact: An ELD is a replacement for a paper logbook. It does not automatically transmit data to inspectors or law enforcement agencies, and it does not automatically trigger violations.
Myth 5: It’s big brother watching
Fact: ELD regulation includes privacy provisions that give drivers more peace of mind. For example, if a vehicle is being used for personal
conveyance, location data can only be available with the clarity of a
Myth 6: ELDs can shut down your truck
Fact: El-DS were simply designed to record engine data — they don’t
take control of your vehicle.
Myth 7: ELDs don’t improve truck and driver safety
Fact: The recently released FMCSA report, ” Evaluating the Potential Safety Benefits of Electronic Hours of Service Recorders Final Report found that commercial drivers using E-Logs had a significantly lower total crash rate (11.7% reduction) and a significantly lower preventable crash rate (5.1% reduction) than trucks not equipped with electronic logs.
Myth 8: ELDs cut into tight profit margins
Fact: Many drivers who utilize ELDs are able to identify driving behaviors
that cut into their profits (i.e. idling, speeding, and hard braking) and can
track improvements in driving performance and new trucking technologies.
Myth 9: Only the big fleets will be required to use an ELD
Fact: The ELD mandate will not discriminate on fleet size. Regardless of whether you have one truck or 10,000, if you’re currently filing a Record of Duty Status, you will need an El-D.
Myth 10: My smartphone alone will meet the ELD standards
Fact: A GPS-enabled cell phone cannot accurately track miles traveled.
Compliant devices include those that have been certified and listed with the FMCSA, making records from a GPS device or cell phone problematic in the case of an audit or inspection.