If you’re working towards a career as a dispatcher, you will find the transportation industry will be undergoing a substantial change towards the end of the year, with the arrival of the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMSCA) electronic logging device deadline on December 18th.
This is also known as the ELD deadline, and this is the key date when all fleet trucks on US roads, including Canadian trucks, will need to electronically store live information including location, time, vehicle speed, and driver ID. These electronic logs will provide more accurate readings of driver statistics and metrics, including crucial hours-of-service (HOR) statistics, which indicate the driver’s legally permitted time on the road.
Are you looking forward to a career in dispatching? We’ve put together three crucial ways this mandate could affect your dispatch work.
Say Goodbye to Paper and Some Long-Established Work Practices
While you may be training or working as a dispatcher in Canada, where the full implementation of ELD rules is only expected in 2019, the fact that so many Canadian trucks cross regularly into the US means that most fleets will need to be made compliant for the December deadline.
For many dispatchers, that means working with a fleet of drivers who will have to adjust to a wholly different way of logging key information. This means no logbook, and no manually noting down daily headers, driver status changes, and other routine data. Instead, this information will be digitally captured.
Many fleets will have already made the move towards full ELD use, or at least have an automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) installed. Even so, for many drivers it will still mean changing a long-time habit. As a dispatcher, you’ll want to be patient with drivers as they navigate this important change. Being understanding while also providing gentle guidance can help you connect with drivers, and show them that you have their best interests at heart.
You’ll See Less Wiggle Room in Your Transportation Dispatcher Career
For some truckers, the accessibility of the paper logbook through the years has lead to a certain haziness in terms of strict regulation administration. Fudging key data to make it work, especially with drivers trying to get home when just outside their HOR quota, has occasionally gone undetected by some carriers within the industry.
The automatic nature of ELD compliance changes all of that, more accurately reflecting performance and the exact time utilized. This increased strictness will give carriers even more accurate data, and subsequently allow them to further improve performances and stay compliant with regulation.
Having completed a transportation operations training program and taking up a role as a dispatcher, you will be working in a changed environment, one where increased oversight will push your routing and problem-solving skills to being ever-more on-point.
Graduates of Dispatch School Will See That Log Books Serve Many Purposes
The new ELD guidelines are more than just a set of guidelines—they will become an integral part of your transportation dispatcher career. As of December 18th, those organizations that not meet ELD requirements will begin to see citations via FMSCA inspectors, with HOR violations being particularly scrutinized. However, staying compliant isn’t the only benefit that comes with implementing ELD. Dispatchers can use the information gathered to more efficiently plan routes for their drivers, or help drivers store ELD data for when they file their taxes.
By reviewing how your role interacts with the new electronic data gathering, you can ensure you are covering all the bases, and doing your part to successfully implement the new ELD mandate. By consulting with management, you will be able to thrive in an evolving workplace.
Have you been considering becoming a professional dispatcher?
Contact us at Automotive Training Centres to learn how completing dispatch school in Montreal could be the best career move you ever made.