By David Roush, President of KSM Transport Advisors, LLC.
There is a common assumption that the impending mandate to move from paper logs to electronic logging devices (ELDs) will steal time from carriers. Paper logs have a reputation for allowing drivers to squeeze in a few more minutes here and there so they can get more done before taking a break. The use of ELDs will eliminate a driver’s ability to alter their time. Conventional wisdom suggests that carriers will encounter more headaches around getting freight delivered on time. Although this is certainly true in many situations, and many fleets have documented reduced capacity with ELDs, there is a flip side. When each driver’s hours of service can be managed electronically, dispatchers have an opportunity to optimize driver availability.
Having visibility into driver hours means that it is possible to devise a more efficient plan and avoid aggravating delays that occur when a driver unexpectedly runs out of hours. This visibility allows you to see which driver has the hours required for each load and assign the loads accordingly. Instead of impeding the flow of operations, ELDs could increase productivity among the carriers who strategically use this technology. And, when productivity goes up, profit follows. It is all about time.