Around 30 percent of carriers still not ELD compliant

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a handheld chalkboard has various markings on it related to how full compliance can be reached by a company.
5 Dec 2017


There is less than a full month left until the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging mandate takes full effect. Carriers nationwide have been preparing their fleets since 2015, but some have made more progress in their compliance efforts than others.

In fact, an ongoing poll from commercial vehicle information aggregator CarrierLists showed that as of Nov. 20, around 30 percent of carriers were still not compliant. ELD adoption rates have gotten progressively better over the last weeks; Polls of 1,135 carriers showed:

  • 57 percent had reached full regulatory adherence at the beginning of November.
  • 68 percent were fully compliant during the second week of November.
  • 70 percent reaching full regulatory adherence during the third week of November.

However, it still remains to be seen whether full industry compliance can be reached by the time enforcement begin on December 18.

ELD manufacturers and carriers could both have their hands full

According to the American Trucking Associations, there are over 586,000 carriers on file with the FMCSA and 97 percent operate fewer than 20 trucks. This means that up to 175,000 carriers are not ELD compliant as of the most recent CarrierList poll.

Those still needing to implement ELDs into their fleets may have difficulty doing so in such a short time. The current demand may outweigh available supply according what Eric Witty, vice president of product management at ELD manufacturer PeopleNet, told Heavy Duty Trucking.

“It seems … there’s going to be a pretty large number of people that aren’t going to have product [by Dec. 18],” Witty said. “With all the new vendors, maybe there’s enough supply out, there but it sure seems like there’s a lot of people still waiting. If they all wake up on Dec 5 and say, ‘I need something,’ it could be an interesting rush to figure out how to get everyone supplied. We planned ahead and ramped up production [but] I’m pretty sure we can’t handle all the demand in the market.”

Daren Lauda, general manager of fleet tracking device maker Teletrac Navman told Heavy Duty Trucking that ELD installer networks are announcing current wait times of two to three weeks and customers are beginning to worry. He also said device vendors are reportedly unable to give professional demonstrations of their products and are instead referring customers to webinars.

Small carriers could be impacted

The last minute scramble for hours of service compliance by many carriers is already causing a stir within the ELD market. But the commercial motor vehicle market could be rocked to an even greater degree if industry wide compliance is not achieved either through a lack of timely preparation or through carriers halting their business altogether.

“Anything less than 100 percent adoption will likely ripple through the trucking market in a tidal wave,” said Kevin Hill, president and founder of CarrierLists, to Heavy Duty Trucking. “Even at 90 percent compliance, it will create chaos with capacity and rates, until supply meets up with demand again.”

ELDs were generally adopted more readily by larger carriers following the regulation’s announcement. Smaller carriers have had more difficulty reaching compliance because of the associated costs, and are even expected to exit the commercial motor vehicle market completely as a result of not being able, or not wanting, to comply.

A recent poll from Overdrive Online showed that 14 percent of carrier respondents said they were planning to quit the business before the mandate deadline. Another seven percent said they would not be compliance until April 1, 2018, and would risk receiving volitions until that time.

The question for the last few weeks leading to official enforcement is how many more noncompliant carriers can switch their status before the deadline?

Lee Trans can help carriers reach their implementation and training goals as the final countdown to the ELD mandate begins.