How Freight Brokers Can Ease ELD Impact

The start date of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is now just 3 months away. And although authorities won't place trucks out of service until April for running without an ELD, trucks may receive citations for not having one by the mandate deadline of Dec. 18.

So how can freight brokers mitigate the impact of the ELD mandate on their businesses? Here are 3 tips:

1. Take Stock of Your Capacity

Trucking industry analysts predict that the ELD mandate will reduce capacity by 3 to 5 percent. But that's the average. Small fleets and owner-operators are less likely than large carriers to have experience with ELDs, so the mandate could have a disproportionate impact on their productivity.

In our blog post Brokers Concerned About ELDs Too, we talked to one broker who planned to poll his core carriers regularly to see what percent had implemented ELDs. The only way to know for sure how the mandate will impact YOUR business is to check in with the carriers you use.


Speaking at the DAT User Conference in October will be John Seidl, DOT consultant and long-time FMCSA inspector. He will discuss how the new ELD law will impact carriers and he'll present the results of DAT's driver survey about ELDs. See the full agenda and register now for the 2017 DAT User Conference. Hotel space at DAT's special rate is limited.

2. Offer Solutions to Carriers

There are about 100 ELD models on the FMCSA's list of registered ELDs. Choosing the right one can be confusing and frustrating for carriers. Talk to your carriers that are using ELDs to see which ones they like, and which they would avoid.

DAT recently researched ELD providers and selected the ELD made by KeepTruckin as a top model that is easy to use, affordable, and meets FMCSA specifications. Here's more information about the KeepTruckin ELD that you can share with carriers, including an informational video and an option to request a demo.

3. Communicate with Your Shippers

Prepare your shippers for the fact that the ELD mandate will likely affect both capacity and rates. Electronic logs won't allow any wiggle room in drivers' hours of service. A driver who previously may have run an extra 50 miles to complete a delivery may be required to stop driving before the ELD tells him he's out of hours. When all drivers are using ELDs, it will be even more critical to rein in driver detention and any inefficiencies at the loading dock, because anything that wastes the driver's time will eventually add to the shipper's cost.

ELDs will have a much greater impact on certain lanes or loads. DAT conducted a survey of carriers that showed many will prefer to avoid loads with lengths of haul of 400- to 600-miles, for example, because a traffic jam or a long wait at the loading dock could turn a one-day trip into a two-day trip. Pretty much anything that wastes the driver's time is likely to add to the shipper's cost, because the driver with an ELD has much less flexibility in the daily schedule.



After the ELD mandate it will be even more important to have accurate, up-to-date rate information. DAT RateView™ provides market rates on more than 65,000 lanes for time periods as recent as the past 15 days. To learn more, send us an email or call 800-551-8847.

Pat Pitz

Pat Pitz is the editor of the DAT Solutions freight broker newsletter. He has nearly 20 years experience as a professional writer and editor. Before joining DAT, he spent 8 years at a Portland advertising and public relations agency, where he wrote newsletters and other content for a variety of high-profile clients, including several in the trucking industry.

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