OOIDA survey of nearly 2,000 owner-operators shows ELD mandate taking its toll

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line Digital Content Editor | 2/27/2018

Less than three months into its “soft enforcement” rollout, the government mandate for electronic logging devices is already causing a host of problems for owner-operators.

That’s the conclusion of a new survey published by the OOIDA Foundation, which surveyed nearly 2,000 owner-operators following the Dec. 18 implementation of the ELD mandate.

When professional truck drivers were asked how the ELD mandate was affecting safety so far, 79 percent stated it was decreasing safety overall, 75 percent reported feeling more pressured to speed, 72 percent said they felt more fatigued, and 44 percent said they felt more harassed, according to the Foundation’s analysis.

Andrew King, a research assistant with the OOIDA Foundation, says even though the mandate has only been in effect for a few months, the survey results show that it is having a big impact on safety and business.

“Members reported feeling more fatigued and more pressure to drive even if the roads were unsafe,” King said in an interview with Land Line. “This rule that was supposed to prevent fatigue is actually causing it.”

Among the survey’s findings, roughly 35 percent of respondents stated that they still had not purchased and installed an ELD in their truck.

While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s own analysis put the price tag of the mandate at $2 billion, King said the early results from the survey suggest the real-world costs could be even higher.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they were required to pay an initial upfront cost for their ELDs, with the average retail price being approximately $830. Another 55 percent of those who purchased the devices said they are also required to pay a monthly fee, usually per truck. Respondents also said they were estimating the mandate to cost them an average of $25,000 due to missed loads and delays.

The survey also asked drivers whether changes to the hours of service – including eliminating the 30-minute rest break provision and being able to stop the 14-hour clock by taking at least two consecutive off-duty hours via a split-sleeper berth provision would lessen their concerns about the ELD mandate. Approximately 61 percent said a split-sleeper berth provision would lessen their concerns, and 56 percent said eliminating the rest break provision would do so as well.

King said the Foundation is planning to send out a follow-up survey after the soft enforcement period ends in April.

More details regarding the survey can be found here.



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