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An Old-School Driver Tries an ELD

Posted on 12/21/2016 by in Industry News

With the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in sight, there’s still a lot of resistance from drivers. Still, many companies have started to install the devices, introducing them into their fleets slowly to spread out the cost, learn what they will mean to the way they operate, and get drivers accustomed to working with ELDs. Overdrive magazine recently ran a 7-part series by a veteran driver (pseudonym Wes Memphis) who was chosen by his company to make the transition from paper to electronic logs. His week-by-week assessment offers valuable information to fleet managers, dispatchers and drivers about what they can expect.

We've highlighted some excerpts and focal points, but the entire series is recommended reading, which can be found at www.overdriveonline.com/tag/wes-memphis.

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Week 1
"Not as bad as I thought"

Week 2

“I had to call dispatch to tell them that, short of turning the truck up to 80, I just wouldn’t have the hours to make Detroit. It is difficult to express the sense of personal shame that someone who has done this for 30 years feels after making such a statement.”

Week 3

“It was the first time since week one out of driving school back in the ‘80s that I had ever told anyone I was out of hours and couldn’t haul a load. … If there was a hard load that needed special attention, I was the go-to guy. … But today I was pulling into the yard with some trepidation. I had gone from Sonny Pruitt to just another downtrodden drone on the digital grid.”

Week 4

“There are times on e-logs you just have to sit in that seat for eight hours straight, regardless of how well you are dispatched. And if you’re an old man with a worn-out back and a cheap truck seat, things can get tough. In fact, any ergonomic deficit you have in that piece of equipment will become magnified by tenfold… “I asked for a better seat.”

Week 5

“I closed out the e-log app, figuring I’d just log back in the following morning. …Wouldn’t ya know, I logged back in two minutes early. The big red clock came up informing me I had no available hours to drive. Dang it, I had just enough time to make it to Tyler without being late, and by God, I don’t run late. What would happen if I just drove anyway? Reckon we’z fixin’ to find out.”

Week 6

“I had lost 18 pounds in two months, and my blood pressure was 110 over 70, the lowest in 15 years. …The only thing I could think which may have caused the weight loss was the increased sleeping time. Normally accustomed to four or five hours of sleep, I was now sleeping six to seven. I was no longer eating to stay awake all hours of the night. .. While I’m not an apologist for e-logs, I’ve come to believe this will not be the end of the world, and that we will figure out a way to survive this because that’s just what we do.”


“At the risk of throwing all my outlaw creds out the window, after taking into consideration the raise, the increase in speed, the lowering of my blood pressure, the weight loss — I don’t think I would go back to paper if I could.”

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It’s not uncommon for truck drivers to be resistant to changes, especially when it comes to new technology. But we are seeing that once drivers start using E-Logs, they wouldn’t consider going back to paper logs. The truth is, ELDs offer many benefits to both carriers and drivers—from fewer HOS violations, expedited inspections, reduced paperwork, better use of driving hours, and many more. As you can see from the case study above, ELDs can even have a positive impact on a driver’s health. 

With the mandate, you can’t really choose whether to comply, but you can choose when to begin. According to several surveys, smaller fleets have been slower to implement electronic logs, and many state that they will wait closer to the December 2017 deadline to comply, which could lead to a surge in demand come late 2017. This raises questions about whether technology providers will be able to meet the increased demand and how that will affect price. ELD providers are currently motivated to supply the industry now to reduce the expected operational strain they could be facing right before the mandate goes into effect. 

Ultimately, the best time to adopt an ELD solution is right now. Taking action today is the best way to ensure a smooth transition for both drivers and fleets. By complying now, not only will your fleet be able to take advantage of lower ELD prices, but you’ll be in a better position to compete against those carriers who are unprepared and capitalize on the pending freight rate boom which is expected as a result of the mandate. 

To help make your transition to as easy as possible, FTS Plus+ has worked with Sprint to bring you several ELD solutions to meet your needs and help keep your fleet compliant and efficient. Check out the solutions today at ftsplus.com/fleetsolutions or call us at (800) 749-1724 Opt 2 to learn more.

Stay up to date with all the savings we have available for you with your FTS Plus+ membership. To see a comprehensive list of all our savings, visit us at ftsplus.com/savings or give us a call at (800) 749-1724 Opt. 2.