Few stragglers remain ahead of ELD deadline

Some suppliers admit there are a few stragglers in the trucking industry still holding out to comply with a new federal rule that requires them to switch over from automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) to electronic logging devices (ELDs).

Most vendors say customers have been proactive ahead of the Dec. 16 mandate. However, some say they have heard from a few carriers that their current vendors may not be able to migrate them over from their current AOBRD solutions to ELDs ahead of the enforcement of the mandate starting on Dec. 17.

A recent survey conducted by FreightWaves, in partnership with CarriersLists and EROADS, states that less than 1% have yet to comply with the federal rule.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) required most truck drivers to comply with a new federal regulation requiring them to use ELDs in their cabs by December 2017 to ensure compliance with federal hours-of-service (HOS) rules that limit driving to no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour workday. 

Months prior to the rule taking effect the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced it would delay enforcement of the ELD rule until April 1, 2018.

However, that isn’t the case this time around for larger carriers converting from AOBRDs to ELDs that were initially granted extra time to comply with the FMCSA mandate.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the agency in charge of enforcing the mandate, said there will be no soft enforcement of the AOBRD-to-ELD transition. Trucks not complying with the ELD mandate will be placed out of service for 10 hours for failing to have a record-of-duty status on Dec. 17, according to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.

One ELD supplier, NexTraq, said it had not received a big rush on Dec. 16 from those trying to scramble to get ELD compliant before enforcement begins on Dec. 17.

“It would be disingenuous for us to say we could get those calling us today compliant because we just can’t do it within 24 hours,” said Brian Gray, communications manager of NexTraq, headquartered in Atlanta. NexTraq is owned by the Michelin Group.

New customers would have had to schedule an appointment to have a technician install the telematics devices on their trucks prior to the deadline, he said.

Most of NexTraq’s existing AOBRD customers chose to make the transition over to ELDs during the past year ahead of the mandate, Gray said.

Most fleets currently using NexTraq’s AOBRD software just had to perform a software update and some online training to make the carriers compliant with the new regulation, Gray said.

“We had several hundred AOBRD customers and we approached our clients as their consultants and their advocates,” Gray told FreightWaves. We’ve been working with them hand-in-hand for the past year preparing them for the mandate.”

A very small fraction, under 1%, are either unaware of the mandate or don’t care, according to Sid Nair, senior director of product management for Teletrac Navman, headquartered in Garden Grove, California.

“We expect to see some of this surface over roadside inspections post mandate,” he told FreightWaves. “Some still know they need ELDs, but have not gotten around to it — these are the fleets that are going to feel the impact the most.”

Oswaldo Flores, product manager of FMCSA compliance and regulations for Teletrac Navman, said some carriers have been told by their current vendors that their trucks are not going to be migrated from their current AOBRD solutions “due to installation or hardware configuration limitations in time for the ELD mandate on Dec. 16, leaving them scrambling for an interim solution.” 

Their choices are to either park their trucks until they can be converted over to ELDs or “find an alternative method,” Flores told FreightWaves.

Trucks with engines older than model year 2000 will be exempt from the mandate, according to the FMCSA.

Read more stories by FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes