From 18th December 2017, ELDs are required for the majority of drivers. This rule is in force for most motor carriers and drivers who need to keep records of duty status (RODS).
There are exceptions to the ELD rule, including:-
* Short-haul drivers who continue to use timecards;
* Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 out of every 30 days;
* Drive-away-tow-away drivers where the commodity being delivered is the vehicle being driven;
* Vehicles being driven which were manufactured prior to the year 2000.
Many larger carriers already require their drivers to use ELDs. However, the majority of the industry is made up of smaller carriers. 97% have fewer than 20 trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates the cost to install an ELD to be at least $166 per truck for a basic model. The average cost is $419 per unit, depending on features and functionality.
As a result of this rule, there is speculation that there may be more mergers and acquisitions. Apart from this, there is the matter of the insurance impact. Safety scores affect the insurance premium. The higher the safety score with ELDs, the lower the insurance premium. Many carriers get just as favourable rates who run paper logs as those who run electronic logs.
The ELD regulation is new. Insurance companies advise truckers to keep paper records in addition to having the electronic logging device. Using paper records can help spot small discrepancies in the logging method. This is advised for the first few months after ELD installation. Paper records can also provide drivers with information which could assist in adjusting schedules in order to obtain high safety scores.
Progressive insurance launched its SMARTHAUL program and offers the free use of an ELD. This is conditional upon the sharing of data with Progressive. Data collected by these ELDs will help Progressive to better understand the behaviours of truckers. However, this data will not be associated with the trucker’s Progressive insurance policy.