Month: November 2019

The Final Phase of the ELD Mandate

The final phase of the ELD mandate is quickly approaching.  By December 17th, all trucks still using Automatic On Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) are required to make the switch.

The biggest question is, will we see the same effect on rates that be saw previously? The final phase of the switchover could potentially lead to lower productivity and higher rates.  In 2017 we saw a reduced capacity with led to higher rates and they stayed high all throughout 2018.

There are still millions of trucks that have not made the switch.  Analysts estimate about 40% of Class 8 trucks still need to replace or upgrade the systems.  For many, it is just a simple software update, but for others it could involve installing new hardware.  Donald Broughton, transportation financial analyst said, “Some AOBRDs were cell phone apps that didn’t plug in, and those will soon be non-compliant, including many of the legacy systems from companies we all think of as the dominant players in the industry.”

One of the most important things with the switchover is making sure drivers get the proper training to avoid hits to their CSA scores.  Vice President of Risk Services for Reliance Partners and a former FMCSA investigator, John Seidl said, “We could see a reduction in capacity due to shippers and 3PLs who impose a firm CSA threshold for carriers,” said Seidl, who previously worked as an FMCSA inspector and served on the National ELD Implementation Team. Seidl said these are areas drivers will need to watch out for:

  • Understanding how to properly transfer the data file to the roadside inspector.
  • Proper use of personal conveyance and yard moves.
  • Retaining required ELD paperwork in the cab of the truck.

One big change with the ELD and paperwork, is that drivers must always be in possession of the ELD manual, instruction card, and directions for transferring the data file and handling malfunctions, according to Seidl.  Drivers will be penalized up to three CSA points, one for each missing document.  This is a change from the AOBRD rules of one point.

Truckers asking Trump to get rid of ELD Regulations

Last year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA announced the electronic logging device (ELD) manage to improve safety in the industry.  This is a device that is able to record the driving time automatically on a vehicles engine.  This not only provides a greater level of safety for drivers and other drivers on the road, but it also simplifies the process of logging time and is more accurate than the traditional paper log method.

This new mandate, according to the FMCSA, is to provide more compliance with hours of service regulations.  The mandate helps regulate the hours a driver is on the road to prevent tiredness that could cause potential unsafe situations for other drivers.  Not only does the ELD record their driving hours, it is also able to monitor other things such as location, miles, and movement.

On October 25th the Small Business in Transportation Coalition created a petition asking the White House to get rid of ELD regulations.  This petition is in response to new data that shows an increase in fatal trucker crashes. So far this year there has been 885 deaths, an increase of .8%.

The petition:

On October 22, 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) released new data that show that in 2018, the first full year the new ELD rule was in effect for the trucking industry to enforce commercial motor vehicle operators’ compliance with hours of service regulations, more than 2 occupants of large trucks died. Every. Single. Day. This is the highest number of such deaths since 1988, making this stat a 30-year high. We believe ELDs have caused drivers anxiety to such levels that many now recklessly speed to beat the clock. We call on the Whitehouse to direct the USDOT to act on NHTSA findings and immediately suspend ELDs until unintended consequences can be studied to decide if the rule is ripe for repeal.

Currently, the petition only has 9,815 signatures, and needs another 90.185 to get a response from the White House before November 24th.

Carrier Expenditures on the Rise

In 2018 trucking companies saw a surge on per-mile costs.  On average carriers saw an increase of up to 13 cents a mile, according to American Transportation Research Institute‘s (ATRI) annual survey of carrier spending. Carriers pre-mile expenditures are suffering because of the increase.

One of the biggest factors leading to the rising costs for carriers is the higher spending on driver wages and benefits 7 straight years; regardless of the jump in pre-mile fuel cost carriers experienced from 2017 to 2018. ATRI reports show that between fuel, wages, and benefits carrier expenditures grew more than 66% per-mile!

Increased costs a mile carriers spent in 2018

  • Driver wages- 59 cents
  • Fuel- 43 cents
  • Driver benefits- 18 cents
  • Drivers wages- 3.9 cents
  • Insurance premiums- .9 cents up to 8.4 cents

While all other expenditures were seeing increases, the only category to stay static was tires at 3.8 cents per mile.  Many other categories also stayed around the same with very little increases.  Truck payments & leases up to 26.5 cents, repair/ maintenance 17.1 cents, tolls 3 cents, and licensing up to 2.4 cents per mile.

According to the ATRI, carrier per-mile costs since 2016 have seen an increase of more than 25 cents a mile.  The industry hasn’t seen this much of an increase since 2011 and 2014.  While costs may have dropped in 2015 from 2014, the spending hikes have greatly surpassed previous years.

For 2019, as expected we saw a spike, but not to the highs of 2018.  This year there is much more capacity, and this has helped to keep rates and costs lower.









MPCO Carriers, Inc. provides domestic freight transportation services throughout North America.


Our team is available 365 days a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day to answer any questions or concerns, so please do not hesitate to contact us!