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    0.052
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  • DATVF.CHIATL
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  • DATVF.DALLAX
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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.318
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  • DATVF.SEALAX
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  • DATVF.PHLCHI
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  • DATVF.VEU
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    0.020
    1.2%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.543
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    -1.8%
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    1.382
    -0.045
    -3.2%
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    1.589
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    -3.8%
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    -396.750
    -3.6%
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    12.470
    -1.690
    -11.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,580.650
    -393.820
    -3.6%
  • TLT.USA
    2.710
    0.040
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    151.000
    -8.000
    -5%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.977
    0.052
    2.7%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.901
    0.003
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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
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  • DATVF.LAXSEA
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  • DATVF.VEU
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  • DATVF.VNU
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  • DATVF.VSU
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  • DATVF.VWU
    1.589
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  • ITVI.USA
    10,584.270
    -396.750
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  • OTRI.USA
    12.470
    -1.690
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  • OTVI.USA
    10,580.650
    -393.820
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  • TLT.USA
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  • WAIT.USA
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Driver issuesNewsTechnology

The makers of ELDs want their devices to do a lot more than just record hours of service

Three executives with ELD manufacturers see a lot more opportunity in their products than just simply checking on a driver’s hours.

And in the process, it’s possible that drivers might look upon them less as the enemy that is watching their every move from the dashboard of their tractor and more as a tool to provide information that could make their jobs easier.

The three executives–John Verdon, the head of partnerships at KeepTruckin, Doug Schrier, the vice president of product and innovation at Transflo, and Lauren Domnick, the senior director of analytics and modeling at Omnitracs Data & Analytics–spelled out a variety of ways in which the data gathered by ELDs can be the basis for an entire new package of analytics that can actually help drivers, rather than the equipment being seen as restricting their movements.

The three ELD executives were on a panel entitled Data Don’t Care: The Truth Behind the Impact of ELDs, Rates, Regulations and Technology. Brian Reed, FreightWaves executive vice president of supply chain and global strategy, led the panel at the Transparency18 conference in Atlanta earlier this week.

Verdon touched on a theme that had been heard at other times at the meeting: the gathering of data from independent owner operators. Given that their activities in the past had not been part of any fleet that was gathering data, it was like a black hole. “We have not had an idea of what they were doing on regulations,” Verdon said.

Now that the data flow is enhanced by the fact that their ELDs are throwing off information, “that can help us drive efficiencies across the board,” Verdon said. He cited new data streams on their detention experiences and how much time they spend idling their engines, but Verdon said the goal is not just to collect it for the sake of collecting it; rather, he said, it may be able to be used to provide guidance to drivers for any one of a number of activities.

Domnick said one of the best advantages to current ELD technology is that the first six lines of data from the ELDs are all standardized. There may be 300-plus providers of the equipment, but that flow of data is all the same coming out of them, at least from lines 1-6. It has helped Omnitracs build two predictive analytics models, one predicting accident probability and other on whether a driver is likely to voluntarily terminate employment. The ELDs leave “bread crumbs” that can be used for such models, according to Domnick.

Whether the ELD remains just a record of time and other barebones activities, or whether it can be utilized for much more, is largely up to the users of them, Verdon said. “There’s a difference between people who bought a solution and successfully implemented a solution,” he said. Or as Schrier said: “I’ve seen a lot of drivers and fleets go from no ELD to, how do we get the ELD to match our needs?”

Domnick said some of the data has been “eye opening” for the smaller fleets that are just starting to use ELDs and have access to the information coming out of them. For example, she said, drivers operating on a “backward” schedule, with a start time that gets earlier and earlier as their consecutive driving days proceed, are nine times as likely to have an accident than those with a more consistent start time.

With so much focus on ELDs and their impact on forcing drivers to stick to the Hours of Service regulations, it was notable to hear the three panelists talk about how far they think the ELD technology can go in providing information to the trucking industry. “If we can help send them to the right guard shack at a terminal, the right fueling place, all of that turns into more money,” Schrier said. And companies are more willing to invest in them, he added, because the market is so tight.

Schrier said information provided through ELDs on parking, if it can be shared, can help reduce that stress. And he added that the data shows that stress is significant; accident frequency rises as a driver approaches the end of the 11th hour of allowable driving.

Another aid to drivers: the need to show geographic location in the tax considerations of per diems can be aided by ELDs.

One trick to fully maximize the data use is its visibility through sharing. All three panelists expressed cautious optimism that such sharing would develop–Verdon mentioned blockchain technology as providing a possible assist with visibility–and said their customers can now share data with whoever they want, such as their brokers and 3Pls. But that isn’t a tool for sharing among the entire industry.

And if the FMCSA does look to revise HOS rules, data provided by ELDs can assist that process, according to Schrier. “With more data it will be a whole lot easier to write the right regulations and make the right calls,” he said.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.

One Comment

  1. As i am reading this im sitting in walmarts wharehouse parking lot for 7.5 hours and still not unloaded!!! And you know walmart doesnt pay detention time! And now my clock has run out and they wont let you sleep on property so now i have to run illegal and try and find a parking spot in the closest truck stop at 2am! How the hell you think that turns out? Well if they cant get me unloaded with in 90 min of appointment time it should be 125 per hour! You cant tell me it takes almost 8 hours to unload a trailer!!! They need to hire more people or pay detetion!!

    1. Actually, if they take that long, just stay there and finish your 10. If they come out insisting that you leave, tell them "Fuck you! Call the bears to come ESCORT my ass out, since y’all milked my clocks down!"

      Chances are that they will just leave you there to finish, because if they take that long and try to compel you to leave, they can incur a $15,000 fine. They are the reason your clocks are dead, and they know it.

  2. As a driver of a 33 yr carreer, with not as much of a fender bender, all over the road, I’m driving more fatigued and tired than ever. The eld has taken away my own limitations as a long distance driver, and now am forced to operate as the eld wants me too, not as I can do in my own safe manner. It’s a joke. We aren’t machines. It’s logging the truck, not me. Drivers are racing the clock, turning up trucks to go faster, doing unsafe things on highway when they normally wouldn’t have to. Construction, weather, accidents, and the unforseen events that slow driver’s down to make appointment times or get home to family’s have not be considered. My personal opinion on your so called eld mandate is stick it in your ass. You made the highways twice as unsafe. Way to go guys. Leave it up to the drivers to their job in a safe manner, not the way you think it should be done. We aren’t robots. We are just hard working people, who all gave different limits on how to operate safely on the highways. All it does it keep a driver on the road longer, more fatigued, and longer away their families. Maybe the eld makers should actually drive long distance in a truck before trying to make the unsafer than ever. You wanna make the highways safe? Get the electronics out of the vehicles instead of adding more distractions to driver, such as watching a eld clock for 11 hrs a day. Get the cell phones out. That’s how you’re gonna save lives, the the trucker do his job.

  3. Once again classic example of people that don’t know the job will assist people that don’t know the job. To mess it for the people that do know the job. For eld makers it’s nothing but a cash cow. They will now sell their data to big companies as analytical tool and to the GOVT. In return. It will continue to kill that single owner operator and you are left with only mega carriers.

  4. Why not have a line for detention time? Driver enter the appointment time at the start of the trip. ELD record how long at that location. Also raise the slow roll speed sparking spot opens up. You where parked at a noise location, the new opening is quite, if you go over 5 miles an hour it kicks in that you are working. Instead of repositioning to get better or just be able to get to sleep.

  5. This system is been providing for people who doesn’t really know industry it it really is they not even know how to drive a truck and the life this is thing is another is King just to make money out of the truck industry or any other companies like the government this is not for this time because there’s no including the waiting time delivery time traffic time because we can be waiting for 5 hours or more like they always do a lot of people going to fall down with the business and lost a lot of jobs and this is the only affecting to the poor people like always do

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