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E-Log Mandate and how it could change things...

What are E-logs?

E-Logs are Electronic hours of service log books that are captured by ELD Devices. ELD stands for Electronic Logging Device. It is DOT-certified electronic hardware that connects to the vehicle's engine to record driving hours. It includes a screen for the driver so they can monitor their current status as well as the ability to print hour logs when required by DOT inspectors.

What is the E-log mandate?

The ELD mandate, or ELD Final Rule, is a U.S. federal government regulation specifying that operators of commercial motor vehicles covered by this law will be required to use electronic logging devices, or ELDs.

When does the mandate take effect?

The compliance date for all carriers that do not fit in the limited exemptions is December 18, 2017.

What are the hours of service rules for commercial drivers?

Drivers are limited to 14 on duty hours in a 24 hour period, on duty hours include waiting to load and unload.

11 hours is the maximum amount of drive time allowed in a 24 hour period and these hours count against the 14 on-duty hours allowed in a 24 hour period.

How will this affect the current state of over the road shipping?

Shipping Schedules

While carriers are required by law and fully expected by 3PLs to follow the hours of service rules there are many situations where it seems they have found a way to keep shipments moving and adhere to delivery schedules. I think it would be best to provide an example of a loading scenario to help you grasp the effect of automatic log books and the repercussions on delivery schedules.

Example: Carrier picking up a load of watermelons

We book a carrier to pick up a load of watermelons. The load needs to pick up today and deliver tomorrow at 05:00, 500 miles away.

The driver is 80 miles from the loading point. (1.5 Hours)

The driver arrives at the shipper and is told to wait in the truck and the shipper will call the driver and let them know which door to pull into. After a while they call the driver to door 3. (1.5 Hours)

The truck is loaded after two and half hours and is given his paperwork 30 minutes later. (3 hours)

At this point the driver is loaded but must go to the truck stop to scale the truck and make sure his weight is legal on the way to the destination. The driver has already used 1.5 hours of drive time and 6 hours of service. 500 miles of travel takes roughly 10 hours, the driver will be out of hours 2 hours or 100 miles from the delivery and will not be able to deliver until he takes his 10 hour break, making him 12 hours late for the scheduled delivery appointment.


With most loads being negotiated and paid based on a rate per mile and drivers being paid per mile, the number of miles driven in a given day is very important to rates and carrier profitability. While some have claimed that the ELD Mandate will actually increase drive time because of reduce time spent doing paperwork, I think this example and the majority of loading scenarios we encounter will greatly reduce drivers miles driven per day and therefore their income. This will more than likely result in higher rates from carriers.


If the new rule does reduce the number of miles drivers can complete in a day then they will take longer to complete loads which will mean there are less drivers available to complete the available loads.

What is Freight Lane doing to prepare for the ELD Mandate?

  • Working to develop a system to identify available capacity as close as possible to our customers and their shippers, reducing the amount of drive time and hours of service affected by dead head miles

  • Working with our contracted carriers to develop a plan to maximize efficiency of on duty driver hours

  • Educating our customers and their shippers of the repercussions of long loading and unloading times under the ELD Mandate

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