ELDs: Working with Shippers

Posted on Mon, 2016-04-25 18:33
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Motor carriers will need to prepare their customers for operational changes due to the US Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents final rule, including the need for shippers (and others, such as tour companies that contract motor coach operators) to examine their own efficiency and to respect driver hours of service.

The compliance deadline for carriers to adopt some form of logging device is December 16, 2017. Beyond that date, paper logs and the ability for drivers to revise them, either on their own initiative or under pressure from others, will be gone, or at least only a risk when an electronic system is down. Although there are no changes to hours of service requirements, switching from paper logs to far more precise ELDs will require carriers to review their routes to ensure they are still viable (e.g., for routes where it is difficult to stay within hours of service during winter or at peak congestion times), and, similarly, to review practices by shippers that create long wait times for drop-offs and pick-ups.

Carriers will need to take responsibility for starting conversations with shippers and others about requirements of the ELD rule in terms of specific trips and negotiating changes for those that are problematic. Luckily, shippers who are antagonistic to changes that may cost them more or take longer won’t have any option but to deal with carriers that use ELDs, since they will be the norm.

And, there will be repercussions for anyone who tries directly to force a driver to violate hours of service, because of a new rule that prohibits coercion through, for example, threats to withhold work in future.

The Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers rule, effective as of January 29, 2016, applies to motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries and includes a complaint procedure for drivers, with significant fines (up to US$16,000 in civil penalties alone) if substantiated.

BCTA and the Canadian Trucking Alliance are working on ELD materials to assist members in educating their customers regarding the new US rule. We’ll provide an update in the Bulletin.

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