The ELD rule takes effect in less than 30 days.
The FMCSA published the final ELD rule two years ago. However, many truck drivers (especially owner-operators and smaller fleets with less than 20 vehicles) have yet to install ELDs.
In fact, according to trucking industry experts and estimates, nearly one million truckers are without compliant ELD solutions.
This post should serve as a reminder that the compliance deadline is less than 30 days away from now. Truckers who haven’t installed ELDs yet are on the brink of being noncompliant, and they are expected to face several challenges.
Make sure that you are 100% prepared with compliant electronic logging devices before December 18, 2017.
You Shouldn’t Wait Until the Last Moment
Surveys in the past revealed that many truckers were waiting until the last moment to install ELDs. This is not a good idea, because as the ELD implementation deadline grows closer, late-adopters are expected to experience a multitude of problems.
Following are some of the biggest issues that last-minute ELD adopters are likely to face.
1. ELD Supply Shortage
Because thousands of fleets are without ELDs at the moment, it is expected that ELD manufacturers will not be able to keep up with the increased demand and the sudden “ELD rush”.
The reality where the industry will experience an ELD supply shortage certainly exists.
When that happens, a lot of carriers won’t be able to purchase electronic logging devices in time, which would render them non-compliant after December 18, 2017.
2. A Possible Price Hike
Because of the high demand for ELDs and the possible supply shortage, ELD prices are expected to increase.
In that case, carriers would have to pay significantly more to purchase ELDs — an additional cost that they can easily avoid by purchasing electronic logging devices now at their current prices.
3. The Lack of Familiarity and Training
Since ELDs are relatively new in the trucking space — at least, to those who haven’t used them — users need some time to be familiar with how the devices work.
They’d have to learn about fleet dashboards, document backups, data transfers, recording duty statuses, etc.
An ELD simplifies a lot of things for drivers as well as fleet managers. However, if they aren’t given enough time to train and learn the ins and outs of the device, they are unlikely to see the true value of using ELDs. In that scenario, carriers would experience a high driver turnover rate, which isn’t an ideal situation to be in.
Considering how the trucking industry is currently experiencing a shortage of drivers, carriers should keep their drivers from leaving, since replacing them can be very challenging and costly.
And giving drivers ample time to train with ELDs before they become mandatory is a good way to keep your drivers happy and maintain their productivity.
4. Continued HOS Violations
An electronic logging device minimizes Hours-of-Service violations by sending an audible alert when the driver is nearing an HOS violation. Without ELDs, however, drivers would have to keep a mental note of their driving time to make sure they’re within their hour-of-service limits.
Truckers who delay the ELD implementation process would continue to be fined for HOS violations. On the other hand, those who have successfully installed ELDs, are already seeing the numerous benefits of the devices, including a significant reducing in HOS violations and penalties.
ELD Mandate Will be Implemented as Scheduled
It’s worth emphasizing that there is no truth to rumors that the ELD mandate will be delayed.
Recently, Raymond Martinez, President Trump’s nominee as the FMCSA’s head, has also issued statements in favor of implementing the ELD rule as scheduled.
Install electronic logging devices as soon as possible.
There are only 30 days left. Truckers who haven’t installed ELDs yet are already late. Make sure that you are not delaying the implementation process any further.
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