A common complaint about mandatory electronic logging devices is that they will no longer allow drivers to (illegally) “fudge” their logs to compensate for overly long detention times at shippers and receivers. Yet the data that ELDs can provide could help carriers and the industry at large address the detention issue, both on a shipper-specific basis and on a regulatory level.
As I pointed out in an HDT editorial earlier this year, the underlying reason many drivers and fleets don’t want ELDs really wasn’t so much the notion of using an electronic device to track driver hours — it was the hours of service regulations themselves.
But by digging in their heels and resisting the ELD mandate, driver and fleets are only hurting their cause for revising the HOS regs to something that better reflects the day-to-day realities of trucking.
“Nobody can advocate for a change in the rules by saying we’re not going to follow the rules. The best way is to embrace the benefits of the technology and argue the [HOS] changes at a later time. We can emphasize problems with truck parking, with detention time, and ELDs will go a long way toward doing that, because we will have sound data and sound science behind us.”
ELD provider KeepTruckin has been doing just that, using the data it has gathered to create a petition to the FMCSA to allow drivers to extend their 14 hours to 16 hours when they are detained for extended periods of time.
Some of the findings in the data:
- 75% of drivers are detained at a pickup or drop off location for 2+ hours every week.
- 35% of drivers are detained at a pickup or drop off location for more than 6 hours every week.
- On average, a driver faces seven Extended Detention Events every month.
- Drivers drive 3.5 mph faster after an Extended Detention Event.
- 81% of drivers said they feel pressured to make it to their next stop in time.
- 32% said they drove faster after being detained at a stop.
While the intent of the 14-hour limit is to reduce fatigue related accidents, if it causes drivers to go faster to make up for lost time, does that result in driving that is less safe?
I don't think we have enough data yet to know for sure, but it's certainly food for thought. And as more and more telematics data is becoming available (see our December issue for more on data analytics), we'll be able to get more of that data.
“Our ultimate goal is to help drivers and carriers get paid for detention time,” explained founder and CEO Shoaib Makani. “With 200,000 drivers using the KeepTruckin ELD, we know exactly which shippers and receivers are detaining drivers for excessive periods of time. We are going to publish that data so that carriers knows who the worst offenders are and can demand payment for detention time.”
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