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Truck driver exodus caused by mandated electronic logs could compound growing driver shortage

TUSCALOOSA, Ala., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- What would the trucking industry look like without 70 percent of the independent and small-fleet owner-operators moving freight today? What if 52 percent of company drivers and leased owner-operators at larger fleets also suddenly exited the business?

In a reader survey from Overdrive, a national trucking magazine, a majority of independent truckers say they will leave trucking rather than operate under electronic logging devices.

A special report on the potential impact of a proposed federal rule requiring electronic logging devices (ELD) to be used in most large trucks to track driver hours of service answers those questions and more. The report cites a recent reader survey by Overdrive, a national trucking magazine, in which a majority of respondents said they would retire or look for other work before they'd operate with an ELD.  

Under the proposed rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, ELDs could be mandated for virtually all interstate haulers by late 2016. Many large and medium-sized fleets have already adopted ELDs or are phasing them in, while many of the smallest fleets are holdouts.

It's unclear how many truckers would follow through on threats to quit, but those who do will make a tough situation worse: If the 71 percent of independents with from one to five trucks actually did quit, the industry would lose about 260,000 trucks, according to RigDig Business Intelligence. That removes more than 10 percent of the industry's capacity.

When the 71 percent includes carriers with up to 15 trucks, it reduces capacity by more than 27 percent, or around 709,000 trucks.

The American Trucking Associations expects the driver shortage to grow to 239,000 by 2022. That dynamic will be much worse if regulatory pressures, such as the ELD mandate, encourage more drivers to leave trucking.

About Randall-Reilly

Founded in 1934, Randall-Reilly provides its 4,000+ clients with strategic marketing services focused on the trucking and construction industries. Its diversified portfolio includes award-winning, multi-channel media brands, data services, research, events, and marketing services. Randall-Reilly's data division, EDA, is an industry-leading aggregator of equipment purchase and financing data used by clients for sales lead generation and market insights.

The company's trucking division serves the fleet, owner-operator, recruitment, dealer and heavy-duty aftermarket segments. Randall-Reilly's construction division covers the highway and heavy construction, road building, aggregates, landscaping and used equipment markets.

Randall-Reilly has offices in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Anniston, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., and New Berlin, Wis.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140417/76211

SOURCE Overdrive

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