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FMCSA Survey: ELDs Don’t Lead to Driver Harassment

Few truck drivers feel they are harassed by their carriers or shippers because of electronic logs installed in their trucks and many report there are benefits to using ELDs,  according to a new U.S. government survey.

Those are the key findings of a survey by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in response to concerns in some circles that harassment will increase under the pending electronic logging device mandate, Heavy Duty Trucking reports.

The survey lends credibility to long-held industry opinion that the majority drivers who have ELDs in their trucks are comfortable with the technology and prefer it to paper logs.

“The evidence in this survey research does not support concluding that harassment occurs due to being in a situation where [hours of service] are logged using ELDs,” the agency said.

The agency conducted the survey as part of its preparation for an ELD mandate  that is expected next year. The rule will require most drivers to eventually switch from paper to electronic logs. It will set standards for the devices and the supporting documents that regulators need to confirm compliance, as well as protect drivers from harassment.

The research is in response to 2011 court ruling that said the agency needed to consider the possibility of harassment under the ELD mandate.

According to HDT, the agency surveyed and interviewed drivers and carriers about the kinds of interactions that could be considered harassment, and were asked how they viewed them.

Perceptions of harassment were few among respondents and when it harassment was perceived it was  generally the same no matter which logging method the driver used.

In fact, the survey found there are several positive effects of ELDs. For example, drivers are more likely to be paid for customer delays, and to have management ask customers to adjust schedules for the driver’s sake.

The survey found drivers generally are positive about the way ELDs can cut their paperwork, but some also believe the devices reduce their independence.

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