Q&A with Rand McNally’s ELD Expert

We asked Ravi Kodavarti, Rand McNally’s Director of Commercial Products, for a quick overview to help put the new ELD rules in perspective.

Q. What’s the biggest impact of the new ELD rules?

A. For the trucking industry, the new mandate means a fundamental change in how Hours of Service (HOS) are tracked. An estimated 3 million professional drivers will be affected, so it’s obviously a significant policy change, and one I think can be considered a positive game changer for drivers and businesses.

Q. Explain the major benefits drivers and carriers who have been using paper logs will notice.

A. Since the ELD proposal was first announced, we’ve worked with fleets and drivers to find the right solution for them. What we’ve found is drivers were initially reluctant or nervous to change how they tracked hours. New technology always has that effect. At the end of the day, however, over-the-road drivers have found ELDs help them in ways they didn’t anticipate. On average, drivers will have an extra 20 minutes a day since they won’t have to spend time filling out a paper log.

Q. Now that it’s here, what’s the most important thing that drivers and carriers can do?

A. First, understand what the mandate says and what your business needs to do. Our ELD Road Map site is a good starting point. Second, make sure the vendor you work with is an industry leader that’s knowledgeable about the law, will be around to support you, and offers a product that will bring your business to compliance. Third, don’t wait to be compliant. Do your research and prepare to find the right solution.

Q. How can carriers better help drivers transition?

A. This is definitely a question we hear. Many drivers feel they’ll need a lot of time to learn how to use an ELD, or maybe they believe the new technology threatens their privacy and independence. In fact, drivers easily adapt to the new technology. ELDs are intuitive so drivers learn very quickly and need minimal training. The new law actually includes a number of provisions to protect drivers’ privacy, such as giving them access to their own records and letting them mute or turn off the volume when in sleeper berth status.

Q. What should drivers and carriers look for in an ELD device?

A. It’s important to choose a vendor with years of knowledge and expertise in the Commercial Transportation industry. Drivers and fleets should shop for a device that can offer truck-specific navigation and fleet management services for a big picture solution to improve efficiency.

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These materials are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice