Landstar’s fleet of independent owner-operators is 100 percent compliant with the federal mandate to switch from paper to electronic logs.

Come Dec. 18, professional truck drivers who operate in North America will be required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to use an electronic logging device (ELD) to log their hours of service.

Landstar’s process to become 100 percent compliant with the FMCSA ELD mandate began in 2012.

“Landstar began making changes to implement ELDs within our fleet five years ago,” explained Landstar Transportation Logistics Vice President of Safety and Compliance Mike Cobb. “We started by requiring all incoming owner-operators use an ELD as part of the terms for leasing on to Landstar. Then, existing owner-operators had the opportunity to volunteer to use an ELD, at Landstar’s expense.”

As an incentive, Landstar continued the offer to pay for owner-operators’ ELDs through July 31, 2017 – by that time the company’s fleet was roughly 80 percent compliant with the mandate.

“Landstar provided owner-operators multiple opportunities to meet the deadline for ELD compliance,” said Cobb. “This gave Landstar owner-operators time to install and learn how to use the device, as well as factor in the added cost of an ELD into their business plans.”

In the last five months leading up to the mandate, Landstar continued to offer owner-operators various ELD purchasing discounts, as well as the training needed to use the device.

“We held informative calls where owner-operators asked ELD experts in the industry about the technology and their specific questions about the FMCSA mandate,” said Cobb. “And our log department will continue to assist owner-operators leased to Landstar who are having problems using an ELD unit.”

Cobb adds that Landstar also is available to help customers understand the switch to ELDs. “We want shippers to know we are ready for the switch, that there will be no loss of capacity due to a lack of compliance on our end. That said, we also want customers to know we’re here for them if they find they are not as ready as they thought for the change expected once the mandate is fully implemented by the FMCSA.”

Experts have expressed concern about a potential loss of productivity industrywide if shippers do not adequately plan for time a driver spends loading and unloading.

“Delays at the docks eat into a driver’s drive time that is regulated by the hours-of-service rules. Delays in loading could translate into delays in delivery. That’s why we are assisting our customers in better understanding the hours of service, and why we are ready ahead of the federal mandate,” Cobb explained.