Drivers who record their Hours of Service (HOS) will need to find and implement an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) prior to the deadline. The final rule about ELDs was published in December 2015.
While the change has been welcomed by the ATA and lawmakers who feel that paper logs have been proven to be less accurate and easy to manipulate, some drivers are not so enthusiastic, fearing an invasion of privacy and ‘big brother’ management.
But first…be patient. It’s important to remember that change is difficult for everyone, even when the change itself is positive. It doesn’t matter where your drivers stand on the issue, everyone will have to be compliant. If you’re looking for ways you can help your drivers adapt to the ELD change, check out the five things that could have your teams changing their point of view.
- Keep it Positive
Electronic logging offers welcome relief to a task that has historically been labor-intensive. ELDs also introduce several changes that directly benefit the driver, including:
|· Maximize driving time by using every available minute, unlike paper logging that required rounding up to the nearest fifteen minutes.|
|· Improved safety with increased accountability on both employers and drivers to respect legal limits and off-duty time.|
|· Harassment protection with a secure digital audit trail to prevent unwanted coercion or manipulation of paper logs.|
|· Minimized paperwork with an end to manual paper logbook entries.|
|· The opportunity to get recognition for their good driving with metric-based scorecards that can be used to reward a high standard of work.|
|· Streamlined roadside checks – DOT officers can verify HOS with direct access to the ELD (via Bluetooth or USB).|
However, there are many growing pains but with an effective management plan, the right ELD solution and emphasizing the benefits, your drivers will be more likely to accept the change positively.
- Open Communications
Take the time to explain exactly what an ELD is, and what it isn’t. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what ELDs are and what they will be monitoring. The ELD mandate places specific restrictions on what information can be tracked, and the requirement that drivers will be able to access their records.
- How the technology work
- Driver rights
- Plan B: What to do when the device breaks down or service is disrupted
- How the information is used
- Timeline (must be prior to the FMCSA’s deadline of December 2017 if you didn’t install an EOBR before December 2015)
- General Q&A
Whether your communication is written, or verbal keep it transparent and upbeat. While it’s fine to reference the new legislation as the reason for the change, it’s best to avoid a “them and us” mentality.
- Educate Yourself
A good place to start is to browse ELD blog, which may cover the most popular topics for you. Any detail is important to pay attention to.
Being informed about what the new legislation requires, how the technology works and what it will mean for your employees – or at least know where you can go to get reliable, up-to-date answers – will help you ease any concerns drivers might have.
Most important: Start now to build relationships with professional, knowledgeable brokers. They’re going to need access to reliable carriers, and if they like working with you, they’ll call you first.
- Share the rewards
Employees respond to incentives so try the ‘more carrot, less stick’ approach to win them over. Implementing ELDs offers a range of cost-savings to the business (even more when you combine it with a full fleet management system) including greater uptime, lower administration, maintenance and fuel costs and increased safety measures.
Fleets that have installed electronic logging solutions are also seeing an increase in utilization, fully maximizing the allowable number of driving hours.