Will ELD Compliance Create a Last-Minute Scramble?
Most of the trucking industry has all but accepted the upcoming switch to electronic logging devices – even if they’re not happy about it.
Some truckers aren’t crazy about the idea of having their hours tracked digitally. They’ve voiced these concerns through private means and on the courtroom floor. But in twelve weeks, the mandate will go into effect regardless of the arguments against it.
Though truckers have less than three months to purchase an ELD, recent numbers show many may be putting things off and cutting it close. A recent study by a consulting firm revealed that over half of the 200-plus private and for-hire fleets interviewed have yet to make the switch from paper log books.
It was also reported that all 20 owner-operators interviewed had yet to get an ELD as well. The American Trucking Associations reports there are about 3.5 million truckers in the U.S., meaning nearly a million drivers could still be without an ELD at this time.
The race to get the devices may lead to some big business for companies that provide the units within the coming months. Many trucking companies and organizations pushed for the mandatory switch to ELDs, saying it would help to prevent drivers from falsifying logs and spending more time on the road than that allowed by law.
The device records movement from the truck’s engine, ensuring that hours-of-service rules are obeyed. The main complaints levied against the tech are that it is an invasion of privacy, it puts smaller carriers at a disadvantage, and that it will do little to improve safety overall.
For drivers who don’t make the December 18 deadline, a grace period ending on April 1 will stop them from being forced out of operation. However, they could be facing fines or other similar penalties.
The back-and-forth battle on ELDs seems all but finished, though the reality of it hasn’t seemed to hit all drivers in the industry.
Given the mandate goes into effect during the holiday season, there may also be some complications regarding training and implementation. This may mean that carriers who comply earlier could have an advantage when it comes to acclimating smoothly to the changes.