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What does the ELD mandate mean for the trucking space?

The same might soon happen for the trucking space, thanks to the electronic logging device mandate. And a lot of backlash, including an opposition rally held by truckers earlier this month, the mandate finally went into effect this week, allowing compliance deadline, inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel to start documenting ELD violations. Starting in April, things will heat up even more, as inspectors will start placing drivers out of service if their vehicle is not equipped with an ELD. A survey conducted earlier this month found that nearly half of owner-operators said they hadn’t even select an ELD yet, and only a third had installed one. While the trucking companies themselves may be dragging their feet, perhaps hoping that the mandate will still be struck down, startups and venture capitalists already see the ELD mandate as an opportunity for the industry. That includes Peloton Technology, a connected and automated vehicle technology company, which is in favor of the mandate and has already installed ELDs in its vehicles. “We operate a small fleet of test vehicles and we have implemented ELD’s internally across our fleet in compliance with the regulations. Our driver-assistive truck platooning system does take hours of service into account when determining platooning eligibility so we are supportive of the ELD mandate,” Rod McLane, VP of Marketing at Peloton, told me. For FourKites, a real-time tracking and orchestration company in the trucking space, the big opportunity that comes from the ELD mandate is the data that will allow trucks to operate faster and more cost-effectively. “The ELD mandate will create a massive influx of real-time data about shipments on the road across the United States. ELDs are a good idea in general “For the simple but powerful reason that they put every truck online,” he said. “With an ELD in the truck, that truck is now streaming its location and the available hours that driver has in real time on the internet. This will increase efficiency, improve utilization and increase earning potential for drivers, reduce congestion and pollution and bring transparency and efficiency to the market that today is hindered by lack of visibility to this information.” Ultimately, Kropp believes that ELDs will force the trucking industry to adopt cloud technology, which will finally help bring the industry into this century technology-wise. I see it as a real game-changer for the the trucking tech sector.” While he believes that ELD’s are important from a safety perspective, and will make it easier to enforce Hours of Service rules that mandate that drivers can’t go more than 10 to 12 hours, he also acknowledges that it may create scenarios where drivers might be incentivized to drive faster than is safe so they don’t run out of hours. Dan Lewis, Co-founder and CEO of on-demand trucking app Convoy comes down more squarely on the side of the mandate being good for drivers. Thanks For Reading!

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