Final Conversion to ELDs Two Months Away…Are You Prepared?

On Dec. 18th, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate went into effect, requiring the switch from paper logs to electronic, cutting back on tampering and improving driver safety.  Truckers, however, were not issued out-of-services due to compliance failure until April 1st, 2018, giving them more time to adjust to the change.  Additionally, those carriers utilizing automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) were grandfathered in for two years, giving them until Dec. 16, 2019 to replace their AOBRDs with ELDs.

Just how much of a switch are we talking about here?  Well let’s take into account Driscoll’s 2019-20 U.S. Mobile Resource Management Systems Market Study, which was released in January.  According to the study, there are nearly 3 million ELDs and AOBRDs actively being used with about half of them comprising of AOBRDs.1

At first glance, you might be wondering what the difference is between the two.  Let’s take a closer look at the additional specifications that ELDs offer:

*ELDs are “connected directly to the vehicle’s electronic control module to capture key data points like engine power, miles driven, and engine hours.” 2

*“ELDs display a graph grid of the driver’s day, either on the device or via printout.  ELDs also display the driver’s CDL information, truck’s VIN number, and carrier’s DOT number.” 2

*“All ELDs are registered with the FMCSA and self-certified by the vendor as compliant.” 2

*ELDs “record location information about the truck at each duty cycle change, plus every 60 minutes while the vehicle is in motion.”1

“ELDs “default to on-duty not driving status when the vehicle has stopped for five consecutive minutes and there is no driver response to prompt the ELD.”1

*ELDs have additional resistance to tampering than AOBRDs.

The stricter observance to ELD requirements are projected to:

*Create more inefficiencies.  Many drivers already using ELDs report getting in fewer hours and many brokers are asking for more two-driver teams to keep goods on schedule.  Some drivers report that routes they can handle in one-day trips are now two-day turnarounds.

*Higher demand for freight and higher rates.  The net effect of less driver hour capacity is creating growing concerns over lower system capacity.  The ELD mandate will also level the playing field as it pushes out firms that didn’t comply with HOS constraints. 

*Shipper responsiveness is increasing.  Delays at the dock are not as easy to hide as with paper logs and many shippers are moving to more efficient processes, including pre-staging loads.

DOT has focused on the hours-of-service issue for years and the ELD rule is making stringent enforcement more achievable.  As the 13,000 enforcement officials in the U.S. become more comfortable with the new ELD devices and rules, they are expected to rigorously apply the HOS standards.

ELDs – Road Scholar Transport’s Preparedness:

*Road Scholar Transport has had ELDs installed in all tractors since September of 2016.

*Currently we are 100% compliant with drivers utilizing ELDs.

*We have been reviewing repeat / routine moves for our major customers and adjusting operations and dedication of certain driver resources to ensure post ELD service levels.

ELDs – We are here to work with you:

*We may want to work together on limiting or adjusting overnight appointments that can help guarantee success. 

*Can we talk about any additional visibility and coordination of regular moves/schedule ahead of time? 

*What else do you have?  If you combine shipments and/or utilize the same carrier for inbound and outbound shipments you will help maximize hours-of-service.  Talk to us about drop and hook opportunities.   

*Spotted equipment will definitely help!  Do you have ELD concerns?  We can move quickly and do an assessment of your current requirements regardless of carrier and let you know what might be a problem.