This week is getting a lot of attention. A recent study came out that drivers with previous violations are more likely to have accidents. This will be very interesting information in months to come. For this month let's focus on the Proposed Mandate. Recently NPTC (National Private Truck Counsel) stated their support for EOBRS, and there continues to be public comments on the proposed EOBR mandate.
The majority of the comments I read were against the mandate, surprise, surprise. When has anyone ever wanted to be made to do anything? I found it interesting how many comments said they would go out of business, or lose the little margin that they have. There was one driver that made so many comments about lost time it made me wonder about how much time he spent bantering back and forth with numerous complaints. Here's the deal, what I did not see were the stories about the dispatcher that had that last load to cover and the driver that could not say no. The other stories about the driver that did not get out the week before and only got a short trip that magically came up with the hours for that long load that would make up for the small check last week. The fact of the matter is that this happens all the time. If you're in the business and you or your drivers are logging on paper it happens every day. Why does it happen? It happens for the same reason that has some drivers use their fuel card to put fuel into someone else's tank and pocket the cash. The same driver that turns in a $60.00 lumper receipt but only paid $25.00.
We should not need a mandate for EOBR's but we have to have it because "doing the right thing" has become the "wrong" thing to do. I don't even think that it is rampant but, once again, it is the "bad apple" that has spoiled it for everyone. Another thing that has happened is that carriers that are trying to do the right thing because of their public perception, maybe it is because they are publicly traded or because they are in the consumer eye or that they have had a legal battle that did not settle well. Fact of the matter is companies, that have EOBRs, have discovered the true benefits. Drivers and the dispatchers are on the same page for planning purposes. The debate on who has what hours left this week is no longer a discussion; it is a tool of increased productivity. ECM information allows management and drivers to look at where there is opportunity for improvement in MPG, idle time, over RPM, over speed events, hard braking, and tire pressure monitoring to name a few. Integration into systems like ABS braking, collision avoidance, lane change information, and even video are no longer a way of the future, but of the present. Carriers and drivers alike are receiving the benefits of the data collected by these systems. These benefits are adding up to big dollars in savings, and productivity gains that more than pay for the equipment in a short period of time. The hidden benefit to those that adapt early is the ability to position your business as a company or truck that invests in this type of safety technology to safe guard shippers and brokers alike that are now under the microscope every time they pick a carrier as a result of CSA. Sooner than later there will be a lawsuit that involves a shipper, broker or carrier that pushed a load off on a carrier that was sub-par because it had to be covered. That will be the one that costs the most and changes the way they do business for forever.
Here's the bottom line if you want to run your trucking business better. 1) Invest in technology sooner than later. 2) Get the system that can get you the data you need to analyze your business. 3) Do not be suckered into the low cost provider that makes you feel compliant. 4) Make the commitment to use the data and change the way you may be doing business now. 5) Measure your return and hold the stake holders accountable.
I know your all saying easier said than done, and how do I know what works and what doesn't. Well, I can tell you that if you are not looking at what all your business managers (drivers) and what your assets are costing you down to the penny/mile you do not know what to do next. I can personally give you 1.3 million reasons why you have to do this. I have managed a few trucks, but we will save that story for another time. This is a great business to be in and a bank full of cash just waiting to be saved. Don't be scared, we all know what's coming, embrace it, and in the famous words of Larry the Cable Guy, "GET UR DONE!"
See you next month, out