What is ELD Rule?
The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is a compulsory disposition of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Career Safety Administration), the US government authority responsible for regulation and monitoring of the road transport.
What is ELD about?
ELD Rule concerns the requirement of installing, on every vehicle, a device approved by the FMCSA with the purpose of creating a safer work environment for drivers, and making it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS = records of Duty Status) data. An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording.
When will the regulation come into force?
After a transition period of 2 years (2015-2017), since December 18th 2017 the compliance check- phase has started, consisting in strict controls which will become even more rigorous in the next months. Beginning on April 1st 2018, all drivers and carriers will be required to have on-board an ELD device, or at least an Automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) – pre-installed by the truck manufacturer. On the contrary, they will be subject to an immediate stop of 10 hours. From 2019 onwards, federal inspectors will approve only the ELD devices as compliant to the mandatory regulation.
Which will be the policy short-term impact on US drivers?
New inspections will inevitably decrease the drivers’ productivity per hour. As a matter of fact, to adjust to the new driving hours limit, the carriage number they will be able to accomplish will fall with respect to the past – hours per day being equal. Freight associations estimate that transportation capacity will presumably decline by 4-7% on the routes pertaining to the 450-600 miles length segment. Therefore, costs on these routes will rise between 5% and 15%. As far as longer distance routes are concerned, the direct impact of the new driving time restrictions will be on delivery time as it will increase by one day consequently raising the costs.
Which will be the new US transportation policy impact in the medium-term?
The reduced waiting time of drivers will push both loading and receiving firms to a revise their loading/unloading times and their habits, with the result of increasing flexibility to avoid extra costs (stop or detention).
In addition, it is feasible to predict that some freight forward firms will leave the business due to the ELD devices installation costs and to the reduced profitability of daily operations.
The contraction of available vehicles, together with the combined effect of fares growth, is likely to push a shift towards other means of transportation, such as rail transport, especially concerning long distance routes.
As usual, we shall supervise the development of this issue to provide you with every relevant update.