The auto transport industry has always been one of the more “traditional” industries, often eschewing newer technological innovations for tried-and-true formulas. It makes sense; auto shipping companies are slow to change, and as the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is a mindset that many logistics companies abide by, because oftentimes logistics is a fluid industry that has seen many transport companies succumb to failure due to a lack of stability. Technology, in auto transport, is hit-or-miss; many times, auto shippers go with what they know works because if they try to change it up it could very well end in failure. Some companies adapt to technology better than others, and some are even using brand-new tech to make their jobs easier. Tablets and smartphones are making it easier for companies to find new loads, keep customers in the loop, and record their hours driven, but not everyone is on board with it. Another piece of technology that can conceivably change the face of auto transport is the electronic on-board recorder, a newer device that – as of this writing – is not mandatory.
The argument right now is whether or not it should be. Auto transport drivers keep track of the hours they drive in hand-written logbooks, keeping with the idea that what works should continue to work. But some companies are fudging their numbers a bit, keeping two sets of logs in order to increase the amount of hours they drive, oftentimes illegally. Is it an epidemic? We don’t know – numbers vary, but I don’t imagine that everyone is doing it, because the ramifications can be pretty disastrous if they get caught. Still, we do know it happens, and that’s why the EOBR has been introduced. One company is working on integrating it into their existing fleets, but as it isn’t mandatory some drivers are saying the technology is too complex for them, which is understandable to a degree, though it could just mean they don’t want to have to be accountable for all the hours they drive.
Laws have been put in place to limit how far and how long long-haul drivers can actually be on the road, mainly for safety reasons. Too many drivers in the past have tried to book it and drive long hours to drop off loads; remember, the more often they can deliver current loads and pickup new loads, the more opportunities they have to make money, and the car shipping industry is a competitive one at that, so getting from A to B to C to D as quickly as possible is imperative. The EOBR makes sure that drivers are sticking to the rules, and fleet managers can remotely access current EOBR technology from their office to make sure their drivers are in compliance. For managers, it’s a “game-changer;” for drivers, it can potentially be a nightmare.
As mentioned, implementation of the technology isn’t mandatory, but it could very well be in the next few years. This could mean higher prices for car transport initially, as drivers will have to abide to the laws already in place much more stringently than currently. Part of the reason why car shipping prices are lower than they’ve been in years is technological advances in fuel economy, but it’s still not cheap to operate an auto transport truck, and the EOBR could mean longer shipping times as well. Currently cross-country transport takes anywhere from 10-14 days, but if the EOBR becomes mandatory it could jump to 14-21 days for some carriers. This is pure speculation, of course; we won’t know for sure until the technology is made mandatory, and it may never will be. But it’s definitely food for thought, and safety-wise this writer believes it’s a good idea.
If you’re looking to transport a vehicle, give us a call at 800-930-7417 and speak to a live agent regarding your shipment. You should also make use of our free online quote request form; fill it out, and you’ll get 6-8 free auto transportation quotes from reputable and reliable auto transport brokers who work with reputable and reliable car transport haulers. These companies know all the ins-and-outs of auto transportation services, and they can get you competitive quotes that can get your vehicle picked up from anywhere, and delivered to anywhere in the United States. For more information about the auto transport industry, visit our blog or our articles page and read more about it.