The ELD Mandate officially went into effect on February 16th, 2016 and although the transition has been split into phases, the effects of the ELD Mandate have been felt industry wide, from shippers to carriers to receivers.
Phase Two of the ELD mandate will last from February 16, 2016 until December 18, 2019. During this phase, carriers have been scrambling to make the required modifications to their vehicles in order to be in compliance by the start of Phase Three.
According to the FMCSA ELD Brochure, “the ELD Rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage and share RODS data” but the effects have proven to spread throughout the shipping and receiving industries in a different way.
In an article published by Celadon, they state that the biggest impact on shippers will be the decrease in the capacity of trucks which will result in increased rates, changes to shipping and receiving policies such as appointments, hours of operation and efficiency of loading and unloading, and an increased shipper liability. They state that some shippers and consignees may need to revise their shipping and receiving policies in order to increase their flexibility in order to accommodate the driver breaks and shutdowns that have been overlooked up until this point.
The ELD Mandate has taken its’ toll on the smaller trucking companies according to The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. They state in an article published on the OOIDA website, that they “think it’s time to seriously address the issue of lack of options available for truck drivers whose schedules are at the mercy of the shippers, receivers, weather, congestion and other obstacles, to operate safely.” They state that the current regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility, and in no way reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers.
In an effort to reform the current mandate, Congressman Brian Babin has introduced H.R. 5417, The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers Act (The REST Act). This bill proposes a revision to the regulations enhancing the flexibility in hours of service requirements as the current regulations fail to reflect the realities of the trucking industry.