It’s December 18th, the day many dreaded. But what if ELDs aren't the problem at all?
I straddle the line between being a trucking insider and outsider. I know quite a bit about the industry now, thanks to K & J, but I also know a lot about the public opinion around trucking.
Here is the reality we are up against: the average American has NO idea where their goods really come from, or how they got there. Nor do they care all that much. If you start talking about hours of service or the 14-hour rule all you will get are eyes glazing over. Trust me, I’ve tried it... and it completely killed the party atmosphere.
Isn't Technology a Good Thing?
To be completely frank, people outside the industry—like legislators and lobbying organizations—don't really understand why drivers would be upset that electronic logs are now required. After all, most industries are going paperless these days.
You and I both understand that the ELD mandate does more than just require electronic logging, but your average citizen or even lawmaker does not. From their perspective, drivers who are opposed to the ELD are opposed because they don't want technology in their truck, or because they are mad that they “finally have to tell the truth about their driving patterns and hours.”
And in a sense—although it is a gross oversimplification—they are partially right, aren’t they?
Hours of Service
When most in the industry try to explain why ELDs are bad, the main issue that is consistently at the heart of the argument is hours of service. As K & J president Shelley Koch said, “We need to accept that as much as we might dislike them at times, ELDs are not the biggest problem in trucking.”
Move Forward Together
Getting enough groundswell to make an impact on current hours of service legislation will require that truckers and trucking companies be on the same page, fighting for the same issues.
In the coming weeks and months we will be discussing ideas to help change this conversation on a national level. The hope is that all these little conversations can lead to big conversations, real action, and relief for drivers.
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