Safe and Unsafe Ways to Respond to the ELD Time Crunch

ELD adoption went into effect for most drivers December 18th of last year. But for drivers in agricultural and livestock industries, a ninety-day extension gave a margin for increased discussion and time for the industries to find ways to both adopt the devices without endangering their cargo. But once the mandate goes into effect for everyone, there will be even more of a scramble to find ways to squeeze maximize productivity into the tightly scrutinized transportation hours. But if you’re charge of creating routes for your drivers or are a decision-maker for your company’s policies, don’t make changes that put drivers at risk.

What are some changes you should avoid?

Business is business, and there’s increasing pressure to focus on that. But your drivers’ health and safety matter. If there’s a focus on just the hard numbers, always bring up how dangerous routes and trends always cost more in insurance and damages in the end. So make sure new changes:

  • Don’t cut drivers off in unsafe areas. Truck stops don’t just help drivers get the gas, food, and materials they need for the next day. They also provide a bit of security. Having your drivers schedule breaks or stay overnight in isolated lots is dangerous both for your drivers and for the cargo. While avoiding clogged truck stops is also essential, giving drivers bad breaks isn’t a long-term solution.
  • Don’t penalize drivers for logistical lateness. There’s going to be a surge in problems as everyone acclimates, and deadlines are one of those problems. If you have drivers with good records and performance, don’t let late deliveries tarnish their records now.

What are some good changes to implement?

Drop dawdling shippers. Downtime at the docks and during loading and unloading count as driving time on the clock, and that’s as financially draining as it is frustrating. Start demanding that shippers stay efficient and push harder to get the detention fees they owe your company for any wasted time. Trucking associations and carriers are banding together to find ‘shippers of choice’ that can keep things safe and speedy.

The last thing you want is to lose business or endanger your drivers, so make sure ELD mandates aren’t forcing your hand. Go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC. for those numbers on how safe driving records lower your business’s expenses. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.

David Ott

David Ott