How to Reduce Detention & Make the ELD Rule Easier on Drivers

In December of last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its final electric logging device (ELD) rule. Now, the race is on for trucking carriers and drivers to come into compliance by December of 2017.

With the FMCSA specifying that the ELD must be synchronized with the truck engine for accurate Hours of Service (HOS) reporting, the rule is intended to ensure that drivers don’t exceed HOS maximums of 70 hours per work week.

According to the FMCSA, “The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier [and] faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data.”

All of this sounds great, but truckers are pushing back on several fronts – one of which is the effect of detention times. And when you look at the numbers, it makes sense.

Truckers make 28-40 cents per mile driven, for an average of 34 cents per mile.

Let’s say at 34 cents per mile, a driver can go 57 miles in an hour, earning them $19.38 per hour.

Now take a look at excessive detention time and its effect on driver pay:

Hours in Detention x 3 Times a Week x $19.38 per Hour

With a trucker experiencing a 6 hour wait 3 times a week, that’s $348.84 of drive time wages lost in just one week. Bump that up to an 8-hour detention and the driver loses $465.12 in week. Some reports even indicate that truck drivers can spend upwards of 40 hours per week in detention, which would add up to a whopping $775.20 lost in a week.

Now apply these losses to an entire year of driving, and driver discontent with the new mandate makes absolute sense.

Stuck between a rock and hard place, carriers are now scrambling to find a way to comply with the new rule without seeing driver satisfaction plummet. Obviously, one such way is to better manage detention. But how?

With the right partner, detention optimization can be achieved with real-time visibility into dwell times and the ability to address issues right away. In fact, a trailer tracking solution like Spireon’s FleetLocate with our Detention Optimization Module will allow you to:

  • See where your trailers are located and how long they’re being detained
  • Know whether trailers are loaded or unloaded
  • Define grace periods and when detention billing kicks in a per-customer basis
  • Notify customers when their locations have exceeded grace periods
  • Reinforce the importance of unloading or loading your trailers first
  • Better negotiate more favorable detention rates

Roni Taylor, Spireon’s Vice President of Industry Relations, says it best, “If you’re using FleetLocate and the Detention Optimization Module, your customers are going to be more likely to unload your trailers first to avoid detention billing. This reduces detention time, and the amount of time your drivers are sitting around waiting for cargo to be unloaded. Your drivers are back on the road quicker, making money, and this makes them happy. Happy drivers are also productive and more loyal drivers.”

As the December 2017 deadline approaches, it’s time to think beyond simply trying to swap out pencil and paper for an electronic logging device. The mandate will affect your entire operation, including drivers. With the right solution, you have the power to decrease detention times and increase driver satisfaction by keeping them on the road and earning.

To learn more about how we can help you tackle detention, contact us today. Let us provide you with a free demo of our FleetLocate solution, including our exclusive Detention Optimization Module.

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