Since the infamous Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate was implemented in December of last year, stakeholders in the shipping industry have been adapting.
Before the ELD mandate was implemented, there were many concerns from Truck Drivers around the country. The primary concern revolved around money. This isn’t surprising as the bottom-line is at the forefront of most everyone’s mind. As most know, paper logbooks were easily “altered” so that drivers could go above and beyond their allotted hours according to HOS rules. With this ability being taken away due to ELDs, truckers figured they were going to see a significant drop in their yearly income. Some left the industry, further aggravating driver retention problems.
However, many organizations are implementing new pay structures. Representing a shift in the industry that takes fiscal pressure off drivers. Companies like Heartland Express have raised driver pay (per mile) along with other bonuses:
- Increased pay per mile to 40-49 cents for new drivers
- Experienced drivers with 10 years or more under their belts will start at 45.5 to 53.5 cents per miles
- Safety bonuses of 1-3 cents per mile
- Canadian mile bonus of 5 cents per mile
- Plus a $2,000 referral bonus.
Other companies are taking a more stable route. Central Oregan Truck Company is implementing weekly driver salary pay. This means that new drivers will receive a yearly base salary of $65,000. Don’t worry though, drivers with more experience behind the wheel can make upwards of $90,000 a year. This along with guaranteed minimum weekly miles (2,430 to be exact)
Finally, companies like Risinger are taking a more dynamic approach to increase driver pay. Their program, dubbed “Triple Play”. This type of program guarantees a weekly minimum pay of $1,000, a sign-on bonus and up to $1,000 in quarterly safety and productivity bonuses.
The ultimate point is that trucking companies are looking for ways to improve the money their drivers make in the new era brought on by ELDs. All drivers need to do is choose whether they want a secure salary or a more dynamic pay structure where the pay ceiling is high, but the pay floor is low. Whatever your priorities, there is an ever-expanding pool of opportunities for you to explore.
PARKING AND THE DISPERSION OF RESPONSIBILITY
The second most prominent concern drivers had regarding ELD (sometimes known as Electronic Logs or Electronic Logbooks) implementation, was parking (or more accurately, finding a place to rest). Drivers feared that without being able to fudge the numbers on their paper logbooks, that they would be either forced to break their HOS or be stuck with no place to park and rest when their drivable hours ran out.
Unfortunately, as many of you know, the relationship between drivers and shippers/receivers is often a contentious one. As we outlined in one of our previous blog posts, drivers have been burdened with the results of time wasters for years. And although there are lost efficiencies for shippers and receivers when they take too long to load/unload a truck, there is no direct effect on the pay those warehouse workers receive. After all. they earn their hourly wage regardless of whether they unload a drivers truck in 30 minutes or in 3 hours.
Well, when a driver runs out of hours, they need a place to stay. That place is usually the lot in which they had their time wasted. Previously, through coercion, truckers would be forced to falsify their log books. Unfortunately for the shippers/receivers, this is not possible anymore and they are being forced to accommodate truckers. Law enforcement favors HOS over any “trespassing” claims shippers/receivers may have regarding truckers who need to park. This is because HOS laws are designed to keep the public safe, which take priority over everything else. This is forcing shippers/receivers to work faster so that they don’t use all of a drivers hours so that the drivers can leave their lots. Either that or lots will need to be expanded to accommodate drivers who need the rest.
Governments and coalitions are also taking note of much-needed rest areas. The Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO), an organization representing a group of mid-American states including Kansas, Kentucky, and Minnesota, is launching a $28 million dollar program to help truckers find parking. This program is called the Truck parking Information and Management System (TPIMS), and will tell drivers along important freight corridors where they can park and how many spots are left.
Overall, ELDs have changed the landscape of the trucking and transportation industry. But if trends continue, the physical and financial burden will continue to be lifted from truckers and dispersed across the entire industry. Ultimately making the roads safer, drivers more profitable, and customers well served.
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