Follow us on Twitter!
Blog Header Logo
DG&A's Transportation Consulting Blog
Posted by on in Truckload Transportation
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 100
  • Print

Will the ELD Mandate trigger a move to Precision Trucking and Increased Profitability?



The implementation of the FMCSA’s ELD mandate in the United States on December 18 was one of the most anticipated milestones in the history of trucking. The introduction of electronic logging devices is the latest attempt by the FMCSA to improve road safety and minimize road accidents in the United States. Driver fatigue is believed to be the biggest cause of road accidents. The FMCSA had previously specified Hours of Service (HOS) rules and regulations that limit how many hours a driver can drive in a day.

However, the problem is that Hours of Service were recorded with paper logs and, therefore, could be easily manipulated and falsified. ELDs are designed to eliminate paper logs and record driver duty statuses and HOS information automatically. Moreover, they are supposed to be tamper-resistant, so the recorded information cannot be altered by anyone.

Late last year, pre-mandate, the smaller fleets were wary of the decrease in miles per day and thereby the reduction in their profit margins. The word on the street was that there would be an exodus of smaller trucking companies when the regulations came into force.

Six weeks into the mandate, the apprehension has gradually died down, and the utilization rate has increased. Kevin Hill, founder of CarrierLists (, conducts a weekly survey on ELD acceptance levels. The compliance rates have been going up steadily since the mandate. Hill’s survey this week across hundreds of carriers, has spiked seventeen points from last week to 94%. Over the past three weeks fleets running below 15 tractors have 80% compliance rates, while fleets operating over 15 trucks are at 91%.

As truckers gain expertise in managing their ELD equipped fleets, they are coming to an important realization. In addition to the benefits of the ELD mandate on safety, they are learning about the opportunities to improve their bottom lines. These opportunities lie within the massive amounts of data that is being gathered. Whether you're a driver, an owner-operator, a fleet owner, a carrier, a shipper, a 3PL, or an insurance provider, there are emerging ways to use ELD data to manage their businesses more effectively.

ELD data can be a powerful planning tool whether the clock is running or not. The devices provide insightful and fact-based information on a company’s customers. They highlight shippers where there are delays at loading and unloading points. The data can capture the lowest and highest places of detention. For truckload carriers that move a lot of multi-stop loads, ELDs provide a fact-based focus as to which shippers and receivers are penalizing driver effectiveness, service levels and bottom lines. They can help truckers improve the utilization of their fleets and optimize their routes.

Drivers experience an average of 7 detentions per month. Driver detention has been a cause for hand-wringing and complaints whenever capacity tightened in the past. Now it's time to recognize it as an opportunity. ELDs can provide truckers with quality data that can be shared with customers to negotiate freight rates more effectively. Everyone gains if the driver’s day becomes more efficient. ELDs can identify a company’s most and least efficient lanes. They display which lanes have the highest dwell times between deliveries and which drivers, trucks, and trailers are most productive. Shipments in the 500-700 range that would normally be run in one day, with minor adjustments, may have to be done in two days. Freight rates may need to be adjusted depending on whether a load falls within a one day or two-day delivery interval.


Although we are only six weeks into the ELD mandated era, truckers are learning that the data generated by these devices, if used effectively, can help them manage their fleets and operations with greater precision than in the past. They can identify shippers with poor freight practices and show them, with hard data, the impact that they are having on the productivity and financial success of their supply chains. While this may come as unpleasant medicine to some companies, knowledge is power. This valuable data may make change the perceptions of ELDs as profitability improvement rather than productivity killing devices.


To stay up to date on Best Practices in Freight Management, follow me on Twitter @DanGoodwill, join the Freight Management Best Practices group on LinkedIn and subscribe to Dan’s Transportation Newspaper (



  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Friday, 23 February 2018

Most Recent Posts


Tag Cloud

Stephen Harper Trade Vision Blogging freight broker freight forwarders future of freight industry Infrastructure 3PL freight transportation professional drivers Transportation Buying Trends Survey Canadian truckers Freight Shuttle System CP Rail University of Tennessee Failure broker bonds Business Transformation Strategy Canada U.S. trade MBA Dan Goodwill Warehousing Climate Change Dedicated Contract Carriage Retail 2013 Economic Forecast CSA scores rail safety Blockchain NMFC Education supply chain management Sales Training Freight Derek Singleton fuel surcharge CSX Horizontal Supply Chain Collaboration e-commerce last mile delivery Transportation service shipper-carrier collaboration BlueGrace Logistics coaching Otto economic forecasts for 2012 KCS Management truck driver Amazon autonomous vehicles solutions provider Conway BNSF Donald Trump Comey consumer centric Trucking Swift trucking company acquisitions Training New Hires Wal-Mart pipelines President Obama NAFTA Map-21 Right Shoring USA Truck energy efficiency Consulting Omni Channel freight payment Emergent Strategy freight payment freight audit Transcom Fleet Leasing 2015 Economic Forecast network optimization freight transportation conference Rate per Mile Outsourcing Sales Success Load broker Freight contracts US Housing Market Whole Foods customer engagement Entrepreneur online shopping FMS marketing Schneider Logistics Carriers intermodal truck drivers Facebook Load Boards ELD Colilers International TMP Worldwide Keystone Pipeline Freight Capacity LinkedIn Truckload US Election freight cost savings Global Transportation Hub risk management Training drones Social Media Loblaw RFP UP freight RFP 2014 economic forecast FCA bulk shipping Cleveland Cavaliers CN Rail LTL Rotman School of Business 360ideaspace Search engine optimization Inbound Transportation Finance and Transportation TransForce Sales Railway Association of Canada ShipMax Harper Davos speech Business Strategy Crude Oil by Rail CITA Shipper Pulse Survey 2014 freight forecast capacity shortages Scott Monty 2012 Transportation Business Strategies. Jugaad Hudsons Bay Company Success failure entrepreneur Trump Muhammad Ali Transport Capital Partners (TCP) Microsoft Twitter Distribution ProMiles broker security LCV's natural disasters dimensional pricing carrier conference transportation newspaper NCC driverless Fire Phone JB Hunt Social Media in Transportation Doug Nix Tracy Matura Crisis management Ferromex Sales Management driver selling trucking companies Transloading APL Freight Management Grocery Accessorial Charges Surety bond freight agreements derailments Masters in Logistics small business economy Celadon cheap oil New York Times Regina Doug Davis freight audit Retail transportation shipping wine financial management freight transportation in 2011 FMCSA CRM transportation news shipper-carrier roundtable $75000 bond Reshoring Transportation Canadian freight market freight rate increases home delibery the future of transportation Canada-U.S. trade agreement YRC Business skills Deferred Packaging Career Advice trade buying trucking companies Driving for Profit small parcel 3PLTL Shipper Adrian Gonzalez NS US Manufacturing Broker Toronto EBOR CSA FuelQuest business start-up Rail Global experience 2014 freight volumes CN Transplace dynamic pricing Software Advice Life Lessons Job satisfaction Canada Werner Dedicated Trucking MPG freight costs David Tuttle US Auto Sales peak season IANA Driver Shortage shipper-carrier contracts Freight Recession freight bid Leadership FCPC Politics employee termination Freight Matching routing guide capacity shortage driver shortages technology hiring process Canadian Transportation & Logistics tanker cars Freight Rates Yield Improvement US Economy Freight Carriers Association of Canada TMS home delivery mentoring transportation audit automation Spanx shipping Packaging Bobby Harris Associates Canada's global strategy Canadian economy robotics

Blog Archives