Whether you're leased on or operating under your own authority, you can turn the ELD mandate into something positive for your business.
ELDs also make it easier to track and control your costs. You can see how much fuel you burn because of idling, and eliminate out-of-route miles. You also get trip sheets automatically, and you don't have to spend a weekend doing your IFTA taxes.
Those reports alone should save you enough money for the ELD to pay for itself.
ELDs will make me less productive.
Fiction: You'll be able to spend more of your HOS hours driving instead of doing paperwork. You also get more flexibility than you do with paper logs. Instead of rounding every 15 minutes, ELDs and e-logs let you round to the nearest minute and make the most of your hours. You'll still be able to edit the e-logs like you can with the paper logs, plus roadside inspections will go faster now.
The government will be able to track my truck.
Fiction: DOT and FMCSA won’t know where your truck is – only authorized employees with the trucking company can view ELD data to locate a vehicle. And if the truck is being used for personal reasons, they'll only know the 10-mile vicinity of where the truck is.
ELDs can keep you from starting your truck.
Fiction: That technology exists, but it's not part of the ELD mandate.
ELDs will force small carriers out of business.
Fiction: Some trucking businesses that were already teetering on the edge might get pushed out, but companies who keep their compliance in order should come out of the ELD mandate looking even more competitive.
E-logs are more expensive than paper logs.
Fiction: E-logs will cost more up front, but the increased productivity makes them cheaper in the long run. If you spend 20 minutes a day filling out Hours of Service and Record of Duty Status reports, you could be missing out on as much as $7,800 a year.
ELDs will make me more attractive to brokers and shippers.
Fact: Brokers and shippers want to work with owner-operators who are on top of their compliance, plus your CSA score will improve since you won't have to worry about HOS form and manner violations.