ELD In Conversation: Speaking With Drew McElroy of Transfix

by Jake Tully - Published: 12/18/2017

Drew McElroy, Co-Founder and CEO of Transfix has concisely been a figure in the trucking industry as one who advocates for trucker rights as well as one who takes a look at the logistics side of the industry in regards to improvement without sacrificing overall ease on the driver.

McElroy has publicly shared his views on various topics throughout the commercial trucking world, and in light of today’s electronic logging device (ELD) compliance date, has spoken to the nationwide law.

In speaking to McElroy regarding the ELD Mandate implemented earlier today, the Transfix CEO reports that while the mandate will ultimately be an annoyance to the industry, he believes it will rebound and largely prove to be fine.

“The mandate is definitely going to impact a lot of small and independent drivers at the edges of the industry, but I believe that overall the trucking industry is resilient,” said McElroy. “I think in 12 months we’ll be looking back at this and thinking that it wasn't that bad.“

McElory noted that many drivers will be able to withstand an industry-wide change, and some have been doing so with an ELD for some time.

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Despite his optimism, McElroy reported that he also thinks there may be some resistance from what he refers to as the edge of the industry, particularly from owner-operators and small fleets.

“I view any resistance towards the ELD in terms of the large and the small fleets,” said McElroy. “Many of the large fleets have been compliant for a long time. That being said, the small fleets are hyper-sensitive to the here and now.”

McElroy explained that many small fleets operate in ways that force them to work on a day-by-day schedule, so there should not be a great deal of surprise that compliance numbers the weeks prior to the mandate were scattered across the map.

Furthermore, McElroy said that he believes the majority of the group of those who were not compliant or those who are not yet compliant are likely not convinced of the ability of the federal government to enforce the mandate.

“I have a feeling that many of these people who aren’t compliant don’t believe in the Federal government’s ability to execute this properly,” said McElroy. “They’ve lived through other major mandates and acts before and they have some idea of what they believe the feds can realistically do.”

Despite cultivating an understanding for those resisting, McElroy also noted that the ELD Mandate is Federal Law, and those who are opposed to it should consider their position in relation to opposition before finding themselves or their fleet in trouble for non-compliance.

“I am deeply sensitive to drivers and their business and their lives - that being said, I push back at them a bit in order to help them out,” said McElroy. “The other side of the equation is that for these larger entities, we’re talking about a half-million dollar company that’s asking a driver to transport $250,000 worth of items – they need to see where their drivers are.”

The Transfix CEO also pointed out that through the enforcement of the ELD mandate, the federal government is forcing drivers to buy a device that may be difficult for them to attain.

“ELDs are not super expensive, but drivers are being compelled to buy something,” said McElroy. “Drivers often have very little disposable income, and when your company is not reimbursing you because you’re independent, it’s just another hardship.”

McElroy also ultimately defaults into feeling sympathetic for drivers, stating that many feel the ELD is an unfair imposition given that the enormity of the industry nonetheless promotes safety overall.

“We’re ultimately talking about people logs, and truckers are tired of the abuse, which is totally reasonable,” said McElroy.