6 Jun 2022


Impact of Electronic Logging Devices on Trucking Industry

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1548

Pages: 5

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Most countries across the world rely on trucks in the transportation of essential goods and products within and outside of their regional and international boundaries. With this kind of knowledge, countries are consistently finding ways of improving the trucking industry. One way of improving this industry is coming up with legislation and policies to regulate this industry. One of the ways that most federal governments have adopted is Electronic Logging Device (ELD), which helps in establishing whether truck drivers are adhering to hours of service (HoS) provisions. The US through Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has come up with the policy, which calls for truck drivers are supposed to work for 11 hours in a 14-hour workday. The policy aims at reducing trucking incidents, which are a result of fatigue when drivers work for longer hours. ELDs are seen as the best option in this case since they are infused with the engine, which makes them effective monitoring devices, as one cannot tamper with them. While ELDs are seen as the best option in reducing trucking incidents, there are others who feel that they are ridden with negative outcomes for the truckers, vendors, and suppliers.

Positive Impacts of Electronic Logging Devices Regulations for Trucking Companies 

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) regulations raise several concerns when it comes to their ability to improve the trucking industry. For most policymakers, ELDs will play a crucial role when it comes to regulating the trucking industry by reducing the trucking incidents associated with drivers who work for longer hours. In essence, ELDs are aimed at coming up with policies to ensure that truckers within specified working hours to cut back on fatigue levels (Stavrinos et al, 2016). These regulations are in line with the knowledge that truck driving is essential in achieving successful domestic and international trade. The US is one of the nations which has embraced the use of ELDs and in fact, its ELD mandate came into full effect in December 2017. According to Marowits (2016), the electronic logging devices which are to be implemented in commercial trucks will replace the manual logbook which is susceptible to alterations which in turn makes the currently required hours of service more enforceable. Another positive impact associated with electronic logging devices is its ability to help transportation authorities to record driving time, mileage, and location information in real time.

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The electronic logging devices will play a crucial role, as they will help the concerned authorities support a trucking industry, which is safer for the truckers and other road users. It is believed that this mandate should go ahead to ensure that there is a significant drop in fatigue-related incidents associated with trailers. More so, ELDs mandate is seen as the best option when it comes to improving road safety, as it will reduce incidences of tampering with the log and harassing the truckers (Robinson, 2017). As it is, most truck owners keen on achieving maximum returns from their trucks will insist on the drivers working for longer hours, which increases their fatigue levels. In essence, most companies are facing a crisis since there is a reduction in the number of people who are willing to work in the trucking industry. As such, they force the existing drivers to work longer to cover up for the shortage. Consequently, these drivers will not be in the right mind, which would make them susceptible to causing accidents. According to Shenken (2018), predictions are that the ELD mandate is likely to reduce injuries by 562 and save 26 lives annually, which is seen as a significant number making the ELDs have positive impacts.

Negative Impacts of Electronic Logging Devices in the Trucking Industry 

While the implementation of electronic logging devices has several positive impacts most specifically reducing fatigue-related incidences, it is also ridden with negative impacts. As it is, the trucking industry is facing a crisis, which is caused by a shortage of truck drivers. As a result, the trucking companies are forced to maximize on the existing truck drivers to achieve their targets and meet tight deadlines. If then the federal government will continue to implement the ELD mandate, the trucking companies will in turn face increased challenges, which will in turn affect the national economy. Interestingly, the ELD mandate is designed to help truckers to work for lesser hours to reduce fatigue though it is the same drivers who oppose this mandate. Instead, these drivers prefer to work under the old conditions, which allow them to personalize their driving experience.

Most truck drivers prefer to work for longer periods than what is provided for so that they can hit delivery window targets and meet deadlines. Moreover, the drivers feel that ELD will interfere with their remuneration since most of these drivers are paid on a per-trip basis. If then the federal government goes ahead to implement the ELD mandate, then they will no longer manage to meet their usual deadlines (Shenken, 2018). The fact that they will be liable to be penalized for driving for long hours, which they are used to, is a reason for these drivers to reject the electronic logging devices. According to McLean (2016), truck drivers over speed and drive for longer periods as they are under serious economic pressure. Moreover, the truck drivers feel that this mandate is not necessary since the trucking profession is highly unpredictable as it is full of challenges. If then the federal government will go ahead and enforce its implementation the trucking companies will be the most affected as they will incur huge losses. Additionally, the truck drivers may opt to move out of the trucking business, which will affect the trucking business, which is already facing a shortage.

The electronic logging devices apart from hurting the drivers and the trucking companies will affect the final consumers who rely on the trucking services. The reason for this is the fact that increased regulation on driving hours and mileage will have a ripple effect, as it will cause delays, which will, in turn, push up the price of commodities. According to Smith (2017), the price of hiring a big truck increased by 24 percent in November as the trucks were in short supply following the federal government’s directive. A case in point is the cattle business, which relies heavily on the trucking industry on, is transportation needs. According to Thrower (2017), livestock tends to lose up to 7.5 percent of their bodily fluid within 10 hours in the livestock haulers. This is a significant loss, which then affects the overall price of the livestock price that is transferred to the final consumers. Following the ELD mandate, livestock haulers are then forced to reconsider their options, as they will now be forced to unload the livestock during the mandated break time. The process of loading and unloading will, in turn, increase both the risk of contamination and incidents, which then minimizes the benefits associated with electronic logging devices mandate.

Impact of Electronic Logging Device on Vendors and Suppliers 

The federal government directives for commercial trucks to install electronic logging devices on their trucks have numerous impacts on vendors and suppliers. As it is, the trucking companies must ensure that the devices they install their trucks meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration technical specifications. However, this is not the case since most electronic logging devices manufacturers use self-certification instead of using third-party certification (Trotter, 2018). What this means is that the electronic logging devices may not meet the set technical specifications, which may affect the more than a hundred vendors and suppliers negatively. Moreover, the vendors and suppliers are at a disadvantage since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not vet the testing documentation. If the situation goes on like this, the vendors and suppliers are likely to procure non-compliant electronic logging devices, which will translate to huge losses.

The vendors feel that lack of mandatory testing from neutral third party agencies will create loopholes, which will be exploited by scrupulous manufacturers. Moreover, the vendors feel that lack of neutral testing is likely to cause a supply chain nightmare, as carriers will push vendors for FMCSA compliance details. Furthermore, carriers would want to duty devices from those vendors who have made use of third-party testing companies to get compliant devices (Smith, 2017). If then the vendors cannot provide such essential information, it means that they will lose their customer’s loyalty, which is bad for business. Ultimately, the vendors and suppliers will have to find better ways of ensuring that the devices in their stock are compliant, a task, which may not be easy.

In conclusion, the trucking industry, which plays a crucial role in enhancing economic growth, is awake to the effects of the federal government’s directive to install Electronic Logging Devices. The ELDs are a replacement for paper logs, which have been in use to track truckers’ mileage and driving time for compensation purposes. The directive to have paper logs replaced with ELDs has brought up mixed reactions with one faction feeling that ELDs are beneficial and appropriate. In essence, ELDs will help reduce incidents, which emanate from drivers who drive for longer hours than provided for. On the other hand, another faction of thinkers feels that ELDs will put pressure on truck drivers as they struggle to cope in a deserted industry. Moreover, there is a challenge for the suppliers and vendors who are worried that ELDs manufacturers may come up with faulty devices. Consequently, these vendors may incur huge losses if they cannot guarantee their customer s of effective electronic logging devices.


Marowits, R. (2016). Canada to require bus and truck drivers to log hours electronically. CTV News . Retrieved on 4 August 2018, from http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/canada-to-require-bus-andtruck-drivers-to-log-hours-electronically-1.2777948

McLean, A. (2016). Battling blind spots: Hours of service regulations and contentious mobilities in the BC-based long-haul trucking industry. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 41 (3), 277.

Robinson, A. (2017). ELD mandate causing controversy among truck drivers. WANE . Retrieved on 4 August 2018, from http://wane.com/2017/11/17/eld-mandate-causing-controversyamong-truck-drivers/

Shenken, C. I. (2018). A study of electronic logging devices and mandatory entry level training in Ontario and their effects on the shortage of truck drivers in Windsor-Essex. Major Papers. 12. 

Smith, J. (2017). Trucking industry worries new rule could raise costs. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on 4 August 2018, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/trucking-industry-worries-new-rule-could-raise-costs-1513359508

Stavrinos, D. et al. (2016). Commercial truck driver health and safety: Exploring distracted driving performance and self-reported driving skill. Workplace Health & Safety, 64(8), 369-376.

Thrower, B. (2017). Livestock Haulers claim ELD mandate will disrupt cattle shipping. Freight Waves. Retrieved on 4 August 2018, from https://www.freightwaves.com/news/2017/11/14/livestock-haulers-claim-eld-mandatewill-disrupt-cattle-shipping

Trotter, G. (2018). Why a new trucking regulation is driving up the cost of produce. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 4 August 2018, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-trucking-device-food-prices-20180117-story.html#

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