The ELD mandate deadline is just months away now. Although most fleets have already adopted ELDs, there are still some that haven’t yet begun the ELD implementation process.
A recent survey of over 2000 carriers revealed that:
- 81% of large fleets (with 250+ trucks) have successfully adopted ELDs.
- Smaller fleets (with less than 250 trucks) have been slower, with only 33% having fully integrated electronic logging devices.
The ELD mandate deadline of December 18, 2017, is final, and after that, fleets would require FMCSA-certified ELDs to stay compliant. With less than six months left, further waiting before starting the ELD implementation process is more likely to backfire.
Because ELD implementation is a multi-step process. Researching, identifying a capable ELD vendor, driver training, test runs, etc. require time. If you are waiting for the last moment, you won’t be able to successfully transition to ELDs without any hiccups.
In this blog post, we highlight a few dangerous of last-minute compliance, and why fleets shouldn’t wait any longer to start their ELD implementation process.
1. ELD Prices Will Increase
As the ELD mandate deadline grows closer, prices for electronic logging devices are likely to increase.
When more and more fleets flock to buying ELDs at the eleventh hour, the simple demand-and-supply equation will kick in and increase the ELD price. These fleets will have to lock in contracts at a much higher rate or risk being non-compliant after the December 18, 2017, deadline.
Therefore, it makes much more sense to get in contracts now and lock lower prices.
2. Shortage of ELDs
There is a growing concern in the industry that there may be a shortage of ELDs as the deadline comes closer.
It’s better to evaluate your options now and go for an FMCSA-certified ELD vendor you think best suits the needs of your fleet instead of comprising later because of a shortage of ELDs.
3. A Shortage of Time for an ELD Training Program
ELD training is critical to understanding the ELD mandate and how these devices are supposed to be operated. Without a proper ELD training program, everybody from drivers to fleet managers would be confused.
One of the biggest reasons why last-minute compliance is so dangerous for fleets is because drivers won’t be able to get proper ELD training. As a result, they may end up racking Hours-of-Service violations and fines. The added confusion and state of panic may also result in drivers resigning and a lower driver retention rate.
4. You May Lose Drivers
Driver retention is a huge problem in this business. It can even swell when you ask your drivers to shift to ELDs on the spur of the moment.
Truck drivers have long been using paper logs. Asking them to come out of their comfort zones and automate the process all of a sudden with ELDs can be too much for some. Consequently, you may lose good drivers at a time when you need them the most.
Gradually introducing and implementing ELDs to your drivers will reduce the risk of losing drivers.
5. Business Operations Will Suffer
Let’s face it. ELD implementation is a big step forward.
In the long run, it’s going to help fleets by minimizing administrative burden and paperwork, reducing operational costs, automating several tasks, providing insightful data, eradicating violations and fines, and maximizing profits.
However, fleets may be a struggle for the first couple of weeks. It would take some time for everybody to familiarize themselves with what needs to be done.
For example, creating new user accounts, ensuring drivers have the required user documentation, and retaining supporting documents, retaining ELD data and backing up data would have to be familiarized with.
FMCSA Director on Planning Ahead
FMCSA Director, Joe DeLorenzo, also stressed the importance of planning ahead in a recent address.
He believes that the ELD transition can go smoothly if we do not fall into the human tendency of procrastination. He added that pre-planning and thinking about the operations in the context of ELDs is the most important thing to do at the moment and not planning ahead can easily put fleets in hot waters.
One of Joe’s biggest concerns is with drivers who will be using the 8-day exception. According to Joe:
“The one [area] that I’m most concerned about is the 8-day rule. Because the 8-day rule is the one where you can’t be figuring this out on the seventh day in any 30-day period and finding out that this is going to be a problem.”
He further explained why the 8-day exception rule could be so problematic for fleets in the context of ELD implementation:
“That’s what happens a lot: ‘my driver went down sick for a couple of days, and now, suddenly, I’m going to be losing this exception, and that [other] driver is going to need an ELD’. Then you have to got to go back, and you have got to enter all that information into the ELD so the driver can use it, and then it’s just a lot more work for everyone.”
Joe said the 8-day exception problem could be solved by planning ahead.
“I don’t think I can stress that enough — thinking ahead and figuring out what you as a carrier are really going to need in terms of those exceptions is going to be really important.”
Early transition to ELDs makes a lot of sense.
Better pricing packages, availability of ELDs, more options to evaluate, chances of conducting full-fledged ELD training program, happier drivers, and much more.
Considering all that, there really is no reason why fleets should wait before starting their ELD implementation process. Last-minute compliance will only bring problems for carriers, which they can easily avoid by taking action now.
Looking for an ELD solution?
Request a free demo now, and one of our product specialists will get in touch with you with all the necessary details. You can also give us a call at 855-434-ELOG or drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.