Efficiency. It’s what every trucking company strives for whether they’re hauling across the continent or within city limits.
Over the years, technology has helped increase efficiencies across the board, and electronic logging devices (ELDs) have played a significant role, particularly when it comes to scheduling, minimizing dwell times, and providing data to modernize the approach to final mile deliveries.
Thomas McKee, vice-president of driver services at Payne Transportation, said the devices have had more than one positive impact on the fleet’s operational efficiencies since being rolled out in 2017.
“Having real-time hours of service has been of great benefit to reducing violations,” he said. “Knowing a driver’s hours real time, we avoid booking unrealistic delivery times.”
Rene Vuignier, supervisor of training and compliance at The Kleysen Group, said ELDs provide an accurate picture of the actual time it takes to load at a consigner, factual travel times, and delivery time at the consignee.
“This information can be shared with the customers,” said Vuignier, “which in turn can be used to request and support rate adjustments and delivery schedules.”
Not every final-mile carrier has made the transition to ELDs in an effort to streamline their operations. But Central Carriers, whose drivers don’t venture outside Edmonton city limits, sees potential benefits with the new technology.
Terminal manager Rendel Elock says the business current controls driver Hours of Service (HOS) by using time clocks that use facial recognition, and time stamps that are applied to pre- and post-trip documentation.
But greater insight into the schedules of its partner carriers would be beneficial.
“At this time, none of the carriers currently using ELDs share information with us,” said Elock. “If they did, we might be able to achieve better efficiency with deliveries.”
He is still leery about switching to the technology until the efficiencies could be proven, though. At this point, it’s just seen as an extra cost.
But he does agree that the government needs to level the playing field for everyone in transportation. It’s a sentiment many in the industry share, including Vuignier.
“ELDs will be a game-changer, as it will create a level playing field by which everyone must comply to the HOS regulations,” said Vuignier. “It will lead to a stable, healthier, and safer environment for everyone.”
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