When the news came out that ELDs were going to be mandatory, starting in 2017, people were up in arms. And who’s to blame them? ELDs are expensive, they put added pressure on truckers, slow down delivery times, infringe on personal liberty/freedom, and much more. But maybe, just maybe, there can be a silver lining in this sea of disapproval. And maybe, just maybe you’ll see it in your insurance premiums, cost of operation, and business management. I mean, Business Insurance reported that truckers might see a significant amount of payoff for ELDs, with the DOT saving $1 billion annually just from reducing paperwork.
But there’s more, keep reading to find out more about the possible silver linings of ELDs.
1. Insurance Premiums
When it comes to insurance premiums, the major aspect insurers look at is risk analysis. When ELDs become effective in 2017, the promise is that truckers will not drive fatigued, making the roads safer. ELDs are used for tracking and restricting drivers from driving past a certain number of hours. It’s an effort lawmakers feel will reduce the number of accidents caused by commercial vehicles, predicting it will save about 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries.
So what does this mean for insurance premiums? Well, although it hasn’t officially been announced (since ELDs aren’t mandatory yet), insurance providers will have to reevaluate the risk analysis, which could affect premiums. In the trucking industry, it seems every time new safety equipment and technology is released, insurance companies have made adjustments accordingly. Here’s to crossing our fingers and hoping for that!
2. Reduce Paperwork/Office Administrative Cost/Clutter
This one might not seem much of a silver lining, but when you think about reducing the overhead cost of all the paperwork, payroll, and hours that go into completing these logs, ELDs might come in handy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large fleet owner, an owner-operator, or a small fleet, nobody likes paperwork. The guys that came up with ELDs (the FMCSA) state that drivers spend an estimated 20 hours a year just filling out paperwork/driver logs alone. Imagine reinvesting those hours back into driving? Hey, more money! Silver lining? I think so!
3. Speed up Inspections
I hate waiting. What about you? Well, with ELDs it seems truckers that you might not have to wait so long in line. Since the results from your driver logs can be automatically posted, you can hurry through checkpoints, without having to dig around for all of your paperwork. Although ELDs aren’t everyone’s favorite, they can help you get back on the road faster when it comes to inspections.
4. Documented Job Performance
ELDs are designed to make the roads a safer place, and they record your perfect driving record. Seems like a great way to build a good resume for yourself, if you ask me! You can provide trucking companies with a documented history of your job performance, helping make you an ideal candidate for carriers. ELDs also show your commitment to safety if you obey the requirements and guidelines provided for you.
5. Help in the Event of an Accident
It happens, either you’ve drifted over too far in your lane, or a four-wheeler decided to cut you off, and you’re in a fender-bender. And far too often, it seems that you’ll be the one to blame since you’re the bigger vehicle. Well, ELDs might come in handy proving your innocence by showing vehicle behavior before, during, and after an accident occurs. It can help reconstruct accidents, helping reduce not only your carrier’s liability but also your own personal liability.
OK, maybe ELDs aren’t the best invention, and we hope OOIDA continues to support and defend all our truckers out there, but there’s no harm in looking at the positive side of things, right? At the moment, unfortunately, ELDs are happening.
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Over and out!