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Small, independent trucking companies are particularly concerned about the government's new SDL mandate

A new mandate is expected to come into effect for trucking companies this month, requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) in every vehicle. And some truckers and business owners are not happy about the change, with some even hosting ERD events across the country. This concern is of particular concern to small trucking companies because of the cost of compliance.

The purpose of the devices is to ensure that drivers maintain safe driving practices, monitor the time on the road and the speeds they drive. The mandate, which was effectively adopted four years ago and whose rules were finalized two years ago, should come into effect on December 18th. But the government is also gradually implementing its enforcement measures, so that it will not be fully enforced until 1 April 2018.

Opponents of the mandate say that LDCs can actually create more security risks, forcing drivers to speed up in low-speed areas to compensate for traffic jams or problems that make them slow down on highways. This could also result in a loss of money for truckers and a loss of productivity for trucking companies due to strict rules on how long the vehicle is parked between shifts. If the driver simply has to move the truck a short distance during his rest time, for example, he could reset the clock.

However, not everyone is convinced that this is negative for the industry. Brian Fielkow is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jetco Delivery, a trucking company that has been using LDCs for years. While he acknowledges that the initial cost of technology adoption may be higher for small trucking companies, he thinks that the safety benefits and improved productivity offset largely this problem.

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Fielkow said in an interview with Small Business Trends: "It's a win-win rule, leveling the field and making sure everyone plays the same set of rules. "

Although setting up and maintaining the equipment costs money, Fielkow compared these costs to regular truck maintenance and parts replacement. In addition, since the alternative to LDCs is to keep paper records, Fielkow says that improving productivity could largely offset the costs involved.

Of course, anything that affects the trucking industry could also impact companies that ship products all over North America. Fielkow believes that the electronic registration system will allow easier tracking and increased transparency, which will particularly benefit e-commerce companies. However, opponents of change believe that stricter rules could result in higher shipping costs, due to the potential loss of driving time for truckers.

Image: Amil Fret / Instagram