AmplifierAgents in the news > ELD Mandate in Review

ELD Mandate in Review



With the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate right out of the gate, its overall impact on the household goods moving industry is to be determined, and as Atlas Agents and Professional Van Operators (PVOs)  adjust, opinions reside on both sides of the fence.

“We had a lot of ‘what if’ questions to figure out,” says Chris Meyer, Alexander’s Mobility Services (0214). “Our belief was that if we can put a plan together and get everyone on board, it would put us ahead of the competition. It could be a game changer if handled the right way.”

ELD Pros

Increased Safety & Compliance

“A standardized process that documents Hours of Service (HOS) in real-time is a huge positive when you are trying to minimize risks,” says Chris.

The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) agrees, while also recognizing that with any new regulation comes new challenges.

“Although AMSA is pursuing further reform to certain HOS regulations, such as the 14-hour duty time requirement, we believe modernizing record keeping through ELDs or other automatic onboard recording devices, or Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs), will enhance safety,” says Paul Milotte, AMSA’s Vice President of Government Relations.

From his experience on the road, Jacob Venable, PVO for Advance Relocation Systems (0059), shares a positive perspective.

“In the past, you could drive and take a break when you felt as though you need to,” says Jacob. “But now the computer will make sure you take an eight hour break before you are tired. I believe the system will benefit everyone by prohibiting a driver from driving when he is too tired to do so.”

Improved Efficiency

Operations will see improvements as well, according to AMSA. Immediate access to HOS tracking will help dispatchers make more efficient and strategic planning decisions. From an advocacy standpoint, the robust data ELDs provide enable AMSA to better analyze and demonstrate how drivers are affected by other regulatory issues unique to the moving industry.

Putting an End to Rogue Operators

Rogue operators are companies or drivers that transport household goods illegally and notoriously hold victims’ personal items hostage in order to collect more money. Consumer awareness was essentially the only preventative strategy in place prior to ELD implementation, and Dalton Conklin, President of Advance Relocation Systems (0059), believes the regulation to be an effective solution that will ultimately result in more revenue for reputable moving companies.  

ELD Drawbacks

Implementation Costs

AMSA attributes a learning curve to be a major cause for pushback. For tenured drivers, making the transition from paper to electronic logging requires new skills. In addition to the cost of training, carriers are required to absorb installation costs, which average roughly $495 per CMV annually, according to a 2014 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) study.

Dalton foresees many drivers will have to adapt to new schedules as well, which he believes could exacerbate the issue of fatigued drivers on the road.  

“Historically, drivers operated on a 24-hour day and most had a preference to drive during specific times of the day,” says Dalton. “There are many drivers that prefer to drive at night and others that prefer to drive during the day.

A driver that is trying to achieve the highest level of income will no longer be able to operate that way. Once a driver has available drive time after the required off-duty time, they will be forced to drive.”

Lack of Sufficient Parking

Although historically a major issue facing the industry, the shortage of legal truck parking has escalated to the fourth most important industry issue according to a 2016 study by the American Transportation Research Institute.

“Drivers can no longer ‘bend the rules’ and continue to drive to find a safe place to park. Many truckers are being forced to park on the side of the road, a very unsafe and, in many cases, illegal practice,” says Dalton.

Providing the same level of customer service under more rigid time constraints is a challenge Jacob
and several of his fellow drivers have worked together to overcome.

“Some customers don’t understand when we say we have to leave and cannot finish the job that day,” says Jacob.

He believes informing customers about the HOS limitations and building better awareness could help reduce the possibility of disgruntled customers.  

Moving Forward

Time will tell how the new regulation will impact the industry in its entirety. Aside from initial pain points, Chris is confident the mandate will render benefits in the long-run.

“There are a lot of positive things that can come from the mandate. It really boils down to how an individual manages and implements the change into how they operate,” says Chris.


Agents Lend a Helping Truck

Atlas® Van Lines Agents think ‘the bigger the better’ when it comes to spreading awareness about food insecurity. In partnership with Move For Hunger,™ a nonprofit that encourages donating food instead of moving it, our moving and storage companies are sharing the message from the largest billboards they could find – their moving trucks. more

New Magic from AtlasNet.

What if you could walk through your customer’s home from the other side of the world? Or see every text message thread from your customer throughout the move? Or get immediate feedback for improving service on a move while it is taking place? You Can. more

What if every customer thought of you as “part of their family”?

Each month, thousands of families go new places® with the help of Atlas® Agents. And each month, expressions of gratitude pour into Atlas via post-move surveys. It’s no wonder the comments often read like fan mail. People go hundreds, even thousands of miles, to get to a new home, a new community, a new job. Throughout their journeys, Atlas Agents provide service that is reliable and reassuring. more


Dave Coulter, STG Veteran, Retires

Dedicated Atlas Van Lines veteran, David Coulter, Vice President of STG Sales, announced his retirement after 36 years with the company. more

2016 Atlas Agent Award Winners

Checkout which Atlas Agents are this year's Quality Milton M. Hill Award winners, the President's Club 2015-16 Platinum winners, and the Sustainable Agent 2015-16 winners. more

Atlas leader Honored for Igniting Momentum

In late September, southwest Indiana celebrated a year of major milestones and recognized six individuals for their commitment to regional business at the Annual Meeting and Dinner held by the Southwest Indiana Chamber. One of the individuals honored was Atlas® Chairman & CEO Glen Dunkerson, who was named the 2016 Richard A. Schlottman Business Person of the Year. more


Atlas is a Friend in Corporate Relocation at SHRM

In fact, the overarching message for Atlas at the SHRM show was to ease customers’ minds about the relocation process. To demonstrate how Atlas PVO’s and pack/load team members are friends that customers can trust with their household belongings, two life-size cardboard cutouts of crew members stood in the booth for photo opportunities, while attendees were encouraged to share their selfies with the hashtag #MyFriendsAtAtlas. more

Sharing the Many Ways to go new places at SHRM

A group of representatives from multiple Atlas Agencies and Atlas HQ trekked to Las Vegas in late June to set up shop at the annual Convention and Expo of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). In total, more than 630 exhibiting companies filled over 30 aisles with human resource solutions at the Las Vegas Convention Center, making it the largest expo SHRM has ever held. more

Alexander's Celebrates a Big Year in Nashville

In 2015, Alexander's Mobility Services (0217) celebrated 20 years of service in the Nashville area, and they did it in a big way. As the largest multi-location agent in the Atlas family, Alexander's moved their Tennessee operations into a new location on the northwest side of the city. more