• DATVF.SEALAX
    1.289
    0.194
    17.7%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.605
    -0.016
    -1%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.914
    -0.044
    -4.6%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.710
    -0.115
    -6.3%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.088
    -0.010
    -0.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.024
    0.060
    3.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.260
    -0.029
    -2.2%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.688
    0.092
    5.8%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.562
    -0.018
    -1.1%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.503
    0.015
    1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.953
    0.001
    0.1%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,331.830
    -120.380
    -1.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.090
    0.070
    0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,350.660
    -119.540
    -1.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.620
    0.010
    0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    158.000
    8.000
    5.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.289
    0.194
    17.7%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.605
    -0.016
    -1%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.914
    -0.044
    -4.6%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.710
    -0.115
    -6.3%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.088
    -0.010
    -0.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.024
    0.060
    3.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.260
    -0.029
    -2.2%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.688
    0.092
    5.8%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.562
    -0.018
    -1.1%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.503
    0.015
    1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.953
    0.001
    0.1%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,331.830
    -120.380
    -1.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.090
    0.070
    0.9%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,350.660
    -119.540
    -1.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.620
    0.010
    0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    158.000
    8.000
    5.3%
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.

Tags
Show More

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. I will say I’m a new driver. Been out here 5 months. I can’t even imagine what these damn ELDs are like for seasoned drivers. They are crap as well as the 14 hr rule and the 60/7 or 70/8. My Company runs 7 days a week. It sucks when we have to run our asses off the get to apt on time and by the end of the week be forced to stop. I’ve had to wait up to 9 hrs at shippers and receivers then kicked off when I was out of hours. Of course they always say there’s parking just down the street and when you get there you see No Parking signs every 10 ft. I’ve made my own decision to stop if I’m tired and of course loose precious time on my 14 hr clock. No damn machine can tell us when we’re tired. Give us 14 hrs a day everyday and stop the damn clock at shippers and receivers. Force Walmart and these other big companies the make us wait to start paying after 2 hrs. It would also be helpful to have better apt times. Example tomorrow I unload at 7 am and reload in a different city at 7 pm. How in the hell do we make our clocks work with those times. There is no way we can stay to a set schedule so why make our clock so set in stone. Also start cracking down on the 4 wheel drivers that cause 80% of all Big Rig accidents instead of also trying to put the blame on the truck drivers. It would also be helpful to a mandate that all load Schedulers, dispatchers, safety directors etc. have to spend at least a month over the road with a truck driver as training before they can start their job. Maybe then we’d get our scheduled time off and wouldn’t be given stupid schedules to keep. Or like me being told I have roll 32hr into my 34 hr reset because a load has to be there or pay a fine. The whole damn thing from HOS to ELDs should be set up and controlled by Truck drivers, not a bunch of idiots who only care about making money and making our job harder and thankless than it already is. You could even include a minimum wage per mile, like every other job is. Without us this country wouldn’t have shit. Pay us what we’re worth and stop messing us around. All this BS is why there is a driver shortage and why 75% or more new drivers quit within their first year.

Close