ELD Mandate Might Scare Drivers From Trucking Industry

Could electronic logging device enforcement cause even more truck drivers to leave the business?

According to an Overdrive Online survey,truckers aren’t thrilled with the threat of over-regulation and a hefty portion of them say they’re considering leaving the profession if the ELD mandate becomes law.  The survey of 2,300 independent truckers shows 70 percent plan to retire or quit if forced to use logging devices. An additional 52% of leased owner-operators and company drivers said they’d also quit if required to use ELD’s.

The president of Transportation Business Associates believes that the ELD mandate will certainly hasten the retirement of older and experienced truck drivers. However, it’s expected that many drivers, particularly younger drivers, will begrudgingly comply with the ELD mandate.  27% of independent truckers with small fleets say they’ll start using an ELD, and the number will likely grow as the deadline nears.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed rule would require all interstate haulers to use ELD’s as early as 2016. Larger fleets and some mid-sized fleets are starting to phase them in, but it’s tougher for smaller fleets. While many object, oftentimes it’s a matter of whether or not they can afford electronic logging systems.

We’ve covered the truck driver labor shortage in the past and tougher regulations won’t help the situation. If anything, the prospects will worsen as more drivers steer clear of over-the-road-trucking. Between the HOS regulations, lack of pay raises, rising fuel costs and long hours, trucking is already one of the hardest to fill jobs.