PHOENIX, Az. – If you’re a small carrier that operates in the US, there are certainly concerns when it comes to getting ready for the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate set to come into effect this December.
Compared to most larger carriers, which often operate with a significantly larger staff, each dedicated to specific area of interest for the company, smaller businesses get by with much less, both in terms of employees and budget.
Tess Wegier, manager of Trupath Systems, recognized these concerns when it came to ELDs during a panel discussion at Omnitracs Outlook 2017, saying some smaller carriers see the new rule as a financial burden that will take a lot of time and effort to implement into their business operations.
“People are often afraid of what they don’t know,” Wegier said of ELDs. “Everyone is afraid of change. Something like this can rattle a driver’s world when they’ve been doing the same thing for 30 years.”
But Wegier was confident that once drivers and companies see the benefits of ELDs that attitudes would brighten.
“Often times, the biggest resisters become the biggest cheerleaders,” she said.
Trupath is one company that can help with that transformation, as Wegier said, they aim to help companies make the transition from paper logs to ELDs, holding the company’s hand through each and every step to make the process as easy as possible.
Wired Truck is another company that helps with that process, as CEO Jimmy Lee explained.
Lee said ELDs help companies become better businesses, eliminating many of the unknowns and risks that come with the use of paper logs, as well as improve the bottom line.
“(ELDs) are a tool that needs to be trained into our lives,” Lee said.
Lee stressed the importance of carriers being ahead of the game when it comes to ELDs, and not waiting until the last minute to integrate them into their business model.
One of the best ways to speed up that process, Lee said, is to identify a ‘driver champion’ to lead the initiate, and others will surely follow.
Bobby Shanholtzer, president of GoRoadSmart, agreed that waiting would prove to be a mistake.
“It’s a fact that those last three months is just going to explode,” Shanholtzer said of the countdown to the ELD mandate becoming the law of the land.
Shanholtzer said he often equates companies that are nervous about making the change to e-logs as a child going to the doctor to get a shot – they worry about for the entire time leading up to the shot, but in the end, it’s never as bad as they thought it would be.
Jimmy Lee, Tess Wegier and Bobby Shanholtzer.
Lee admitted that some smaller carriers that deal with niche customers could see some negative effects moving to ELDs, as it will be difficult for them to tailor their service the way they have in the past for their unique needs. But he added that using ELDs would eventually bring more business to a carrier, which should be every company’s main goal.
Wegier told attendees that there were far more positives to ELDs than negatives, and praised attendees saying that each were already brilliant business people, and they wouldn’t be in their current positions if they weren’t.
“So trust yourself to adopt this new technology,” she said.
A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media industry as an editor, reporter and now as editor of Truck West. I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.
@DerekClouthier All posts by Derek Clouthier