What Does the Hard Deadline for ELD Compliance Mean for Truckers?
joc, ttnews, the packer
February 7, 2020
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February 7, 2020
Two years ago, many truck drivers and trucking companies scrambled to find the electronic logging devices (ELD) that would keep them within the mandate set by the federal government. The problem then was that so many owners and companies waited until the last minute to find ELDs to install in their trucks, that demand was outweighing supply, and many were left emptyhanded.
Soft Enforcements Run Out
Due to this previous shortfall of actual ELD devices, many regulators were forced to give warnings and other “soft enforcement” solutions. However, as of December 17th of this year, all truck drivers that had AOBRDs will be expected to have them replaced with ELDs. Regulators say that this deadline will not come with any soft enforcements this time.
For those companies and individuals who did not heed the two-year extension, fines will be stiff and out-of-service orders will be implemented. Again, regulators are doubling down on no issuance of a soft enforcement.
Will the Shipping Industry Be Affected?
Shippers are ready for phase II of the US ELD mandate. There may be minor disruptions, but across the board it is expected that shipping freight across the U.S. should run smoothly. The two-year extension that mandated AOBRDs to be replaced with ELDs ran out last Monday. There should be no repeats of trucking companies scrambling to find ELD devices and overloading the system.
Many companies took the enforcement deadline seriously. For example, Old Dominion Freight Line took eight months to transition their entire fleet over to ELD technology. Other carriers, such as Nussbaum Transportation and Southeastern Freight Lines took around six to seven months to make the transition.
Challenges Other Than Installation
Installation is not the only hurdle that truckers and companies had to take on with the ELD mandate. Training and a general change in operations has happened across the board. Although trucking companies have taken notice, it is unclear if shippers have actually taken the time to analyze the changes that will take place due to large carriers transitioning from AOBRD to ELDs.
If there are not enough smaller or independent trucking companies that have make the switch to ELDs, there may be a lag in the availability of trucks that have completed the transition. With no soft enforcements in place, there may be many trucks parked until they get an ELD installed.
This means that shippers should not underestimate last Monday’s deadline, especially when dealing with smaller or independent carriers. The lapse of carriers that have not taken the ELD deadline seriously could mean that shippers are left without enough trucks to fill their shipping needs.
In September of 2017, a survey was conducted among shippers and third-party logistics providers with regards for the expectations and readiness of the ELD mandates. Up to 20 percent reported that they had done nothing to prepare for the mandate. Shipping companies are hoping that this number has reduced drastically in the last 2 years and that they are now ready for the heavy impact expected from the mandate.