Panel advises small carriers not to be intimidated by ELDs

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 and trucking industries as a writer, editor, and now as western bureau chief of Today's Trucking and 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.

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  • TransReport Services is a provider of Omnitracs electronic logging devices and also assist small and mid sized carriers with their ELD adoption. Not only have they been servicing the trucking industry for over 25 years, they also wont treat you like a number. They have created a variety of post-sale solutions to ease both the transition to e-logs and the management of them thereafter. Check them out!

  • I am a old driver over 20 years in the trade now a senior citizen and driving part time ( summer time) long haul trips involving 10 plus days away and did used ELD in truck it is useful but if you are running out of working hour it become a burden or if you have to do delivery one or two hours before your 10 hours off is suppose to be it become a real problem to start the day with.
    Other than that it is all about getting dispatch to know the rules, and not to activate a wake up device so you get to do the delivery and having to do an infraction.
    There is also the consumer or sells man that take loads without looking at the unit they will send out to deliver and ignoring the amount of time required to do the job.
    I have experienced all of that and I still like to work with the electronic log.

  • Wegier told attendees that there were far more positives to ELDs than negatives.

    And your just to dumb if you disagree so it will be made mandatory.