From April 1, 2018, all commercial trucks must be equipped with electronic log devices, or ELDs. These electronically tally driving time, more accurately monitoring and enforcing hours behind the wheel and rest periods than do traditional logbooks.
The only exceptions are local carriers, vehicles built before 2000 and those trucks that have automatic onboard recording devices, which are given another 18 months to transition. Drivers caught, face being placed out of service for ten hours and possible fines.
Buoyed by more demand for their services and higher freight rates, many trucking firms are ordering new tractors and trailers. At the same time, some trucking firms are opting to replace their equipment every three to four years, instead of the industry average of seven to eight years. By doing so, companies are “able to significantly reduce the running costs of the asset, and able to introduce newer technologies and safety components,” said Brian Holland, the president and CFO of Fleet Advantage, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based data analytics, leasing and private fleet management company. He adds that “having newer trucks helps with driver recruitment, it also helps with a technician shortage.”
On many fronts, the trucking industry is struggling to catch up. Data analytics and onboard technology help ease that struggle. “Innovation changes everything,” said Holland. “As distribution continues to evolve, new equipment, new technology will continue to evolve as well.”
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