What image pops into your mind when you think of America? Is it a picture of Herculean men smashing against each other in an attempt to transport a leather, air-filled ball down a field? Perhaps it’s majestic city skyscrapers jutting toward the clouds, towering over the hurried masses bustling about below. Maybe it’s the tranquil streets of suburban communities lined with manicured lawns and cookie cutter houses. But there’s something else that’s as American as apple pie, baseball and Norman Rockwell paintings.

From the Boston Tea Party to the Bill of Rights, Americans’ dislike of government intrusion is ingrained in the national DNA. So, it’s no surprise that while there’s been a noticeable increase in carrier adoption as the April 1 compliance deadline approaches for the ELD mandate, some drivers continue to hold out, according to a recent survey by DAT Solutions.

Understandably, companies—particularly those with smaller fleets—are still weighing the regulation’s intended benefits against the perceived negative impact to their businesses. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but with less than a week left before noncompliant vehicles can be taken off the road, you’ve officially run out of time. If you’re still on the fence, consider this blog a Hail Mary pass at making the case.

Safety First

Perhaps the most contentious part of the ELD mandate among drivers is the 14-hour on-duty maximum to be followed by 10-hours off-duty. However, this hours of service (HOS) regulation has been on the books for quite some time, so what’s different?

The rules—which were intended as a necessary safety precaution—haven’t changed, but if you’re a driver, the way you record your logs has gone from easily altered, paper-based methods to tamper-proof, electronic devices. Companies whose drivers may have historically fudged or modified the numbers will be the hardest hit by these new devices. Regardless, HOS limits are something they should’ve closely monitored all along. Sure, there’s certainly room to improve the on-duty hours rule, namely that the device counts detention time as part of the 14-hour on-duty allotment, but it does have the twofold positive effect of improving safety and preventing hefty violation fines for your organization. That’s a win for drivers and the public.

So, You Don’t Have Time for That?

Some of the most common detractions concerning the mandate is that new software systems can be costly, difficult to implement and even harder to train drivers to use. Who wants to make that investment? Actually, you should, and not just because a fleet of stationary vehicles await you if you don’t. Today’s ELDs are to paper-based logs, what cars are to horse-drawn buggies. They’re just better. Moreover, the right ELD is cost-effective, easy to implement, and easy for employees to use. You just have to do your research to find the right partner for your organization.

A good ELD system saves you time by eliminating previously manual driver logging practices and increasing the time spent making deliveries. As you know, time is money when it comes to making deliveries. Aside from time savings, moving your logistics operation into the 21st century enables you to couple your ELD with other logistics solutions, such as telematics, that provide valuable data on the quality of your vehicles and drivers. The result is a more efficient, productive and profitable business.

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Breaking the Bank

When discussing the ELD mandate with its opponents, fear that it will tank the bottom line always comes to the forefront. While that fear—perhaps based on a company’s individual business model and performance as opposed to the industry at large—seems reasonable, the numbers tell a different story.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), the industry can expect to save $1.6 billion annually on paperwork alone. Combine that with projected crash reduction costs of $395 million annually, and you begin to see a different picture. Grab a seat because the good news doesn’t stop there. In fact, in a recent interview with Trucks.com, DAT Solutions said freight rates are currently higher than at any point last year due to driving limits imposed by the mandate. You can expect this trend to continue as more companies implement ELDs across their fleets, which means more money per load for carriers.

It’s Time to Get with the Program

When it comes to the ELD mandate, the fence is no place to be. If you’re a fleet owner, now is the time to ask yourself a simple question: “Do I want my business to remain in business?” If the answer is “yes,” your next step is to research and decide which ELD solution is best for your business. April 1 is just around the corner.