ELD Sales Speed Up Right on Schedule
Truck drivers and carriers have been preparing for over a year since the mandate for electronic logging devices was announced.
The move, which resulted from controversies about inaccurate paper logs and drivers becoming drowsy behind the wheel, is still a topic of fierce discussion to this day. While some within the freight transportation field say that ELDs are imperative for keeping the roads safe, others maintain that these devices (and the implementation efforts behind them) will pose a detriment to the industry.
This can be seen in the delays on both the driver and administrative sides in freight transportation. Despite the slow acclimation to the deadline, sales numbers for ELDs have jumped significantly as the December 18th deadline closes in.
It is currently estimated that at least half of fleets with five or fewer trucks and independent drivers seem to be waiting for the deadline before complying. The delays seem to be much more consistent on the independent side of things, further reinforcing the opinion of many about the mandate. The consensus among many is that the ELD mandate, like many regulations, is less about safety and more about putting smaller companies at a disadvantage.
Producers of ELDs are understanding of the hesitation and the unique situation they find themselves in. With such a big change taking place in a major industry near the end of his year, ELD producers are eagerly awaiting indicators about how fast they should be producing their products, and how soon (or late) customers may come to buy them.
A large sales surge in late November or early December is likely. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has yet to release proper training materials or give the trucking industry adequate information about the training and implementation for the new devices. This factor alone has caused many in the industry, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), to question whether things are truly in place for the switch.
Though a repeal of the mandate is unlikely at this point, OOIDA and others have still pushed for delays and postponements for the mandate. Even as ELD sales increase, it is likely they will see another spike before 2018.