Channel 19

Todd Dills

VIDEO: Analysis of what’s happening with ELDs / bankruptcies

| August 21, 2014


CCJ's Jeff Crissey talking economic trends after Donald Broughton's presentation at the 2014 Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference preceding this year's Great American Trucking Show.

CCJ’s Jeff Crissey talking economic trends after Donald Broughton’s presentation at the 2014 Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference preceding this year’s Great American Trucking Show.

We’ve written about this trend before, in a few different ways. Back during Overdrive‘s sister fleet magazine CCJ’s Summer Symposium, Avondale Partners analyst Donald Broughton, known for his tracking of trucking bankruptcies, noted a trend he’d researched given that it flew in the face of what’s typically expected for trucking bankruptcies. You’ll see spikes, obviously, when demand (reflected in rates) is low and fuel prices are or go high. Over the last two years or so, however, demand has been growing steadily and fuel has been relatively stable, if at a historical level that is fairly high. 


Analyst: E-logs drove 2013 carrier bankruptcy spike

2013 didn't follow the typical seasonality of trucking bankruptcies. When analyst Donald Broughton researched the situations of newly bankrupt carriers, a pattern of FMCSA audit, ...

Bankruptcies, however, in terms of number of carriers and number of trucks both, have been rising against that trendline. While Broughton hasn’t been able to contact every single one of the businesses that have seen their demise, the commonality shared among those he has been in touch with is … the occurrence of a recent FMCSA audit, which then led to noted problems in the hours of service area and an inability to adjust to the fallout from installation of e-logs to satisfy regulators — declining miles, a need for more robust back-office support of drivers, etc.  


CSA’s Fallout: Trapped in a CSA nightmare

Part 1 of this story of how one small fleet operator got stuck in "safety jail" as a Conditional safety rating, a high BASIC score ...

I told such a story with the July installments in the CSA’s Fallout series about Hartsville, Tenn., Old Time Express. They represent a success case, of sorts, with e-logs/ELDs — they’re not a part of Broughton’s stats it were, and hopefully they won’t ever be. Last time I talked to Mark White with the company, it was doing well with the ELD system. 

Those who stand to benefit from the ELD mandate will be those who’ve made the necessary adjustments in all aspects of the business that will be affected, Broughton notes. I caught up with him following his presentation at the Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference at the Great American Trucking Show today. Broughton talks more aabout all those dynamics in the vid following, here.

  • sthomas1957

    When they tested these ELD’s, starting with Werner, and then it was discovered that the big carriers were being allowed to “edit” their logs, does it surprise anybody that some of the small- to mid-sized carriers are having difficulties running without any editing permitted whatsoever? Why do they approve something without at least first requiring that those carriers who were in the pilot program run without any editing to see if it’s even practical?

  • Mike Davis

    Elogs aren’t perfect. Example,stop at truck stop for a meal. Set the brakes, depending on the clock the computer might show driver on line 4.(working against the 70. Correction allowed to change duty status to line 1. All log changes must be made that day. Werner treated log violations seriously enough to lead to termination for trying to manipulate hrs. Stopped in traffic ? Brakes released ,,no way you can be on lline 4 as the computer might indicate cause the wheels weren’t turning. Perfect,nope,,no log is,,,but the driver and truck performance are pretty damn close. Try running a paper log without an error.

  • Mind Games

    And not so much as even an apology from the DOT or the FMCSA etc… It’s sad that the government is being used like a weapon to destroy the lives of people all the while these same people hide behind they created.
    I hope they all suffer slow horrible levels of pain before they die.
    They all deserve to go to hell they really do.

  • Gary Holfstra

    Usually by the time FMCSA comes in to do a compliance review (audits are a completely different animal-if you are in the industry you should know the difference) the company is “on the ropes”, so to speak, because of bad or mismanagement, so cutting corners, running over hours, etc. is their only way to survive – take that away and of course they go under. And good riddance.
    If the terminology in the article is correct and they were audits, then these were new companies with new management and likely no idea how to run a trucking company…same result as above.
    Not everyone is cut out to run a business, which is what trucking is, a business. Billy Bob buying a truck, getting a DOT#, and running freight isn’t a business. Unless Billy Bob has a viable business plan, tracks expenses and income, and doesn’t take freight that can’t pay his “true” costs. Too many “businesses” out there don’t know what it costs to run per mile, taking into account all expenses, and therefore take freight that can’t pay enough. Know what it costs you and bid/take freight with enough margin to get some profit – or don’t take that freight.

  • David S. McQueen

    Some private motor carrier drivers (who work in the oil patch) have many hours logged on line 4 (on duty/not driving) and only 3 or 4 hours on line 3 (driving). The driver must remember to manually change from line 3 to line 4 (at the job site) and from line 4 to line 1 (off duty) when he takes a break. That won’t happen because he’s busy doing the job he was hired to do (which ISN’T driving or in a truck). Also, the driver must manually inform the ELD that he’s on line 4 AT A WELL SITE. Not all on duty time is at a well site, so he’ll have to manually inform the ELD of that. Too many problems that won’t be solved by ELDs.

  • Spot

    With my single sheet paper logs that I have custom made at a printer with all my company info on them, (last of the independents I am) I can put what ever I want on them, at any time I want….or throw it away and start all over if I choose to. I have a business to run. I do what my customers require of me. You can keep all this electronic BS. If drivers were just trained properly, wanted to do the job, and had some discipline as adults, there would be no need for these babysitting devices. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.