With less than 12 weeks before the electronic logging device mandate takes effect, nearly 1 million truck drivers have yet to purchase an ELD.

“Our research shows the market is going to be pretty wild over the next three months because a lot of companies have put it off,” said Clem Driscoll, president of C.J. Driscoll & Associates, a consulting firm.

A survey by the firm found that 60 percent of the 250 for-hire and private fleets interviewed had yet to switch from paper logs to ELDs, or e-logs, Driscoll said. Of the 20 owner-operators, or independent truckers, surveyed, none had deployed an ELD device yet.

“We are hearing that there are up to a million trucks that still do not have a device currently,” said Chris Harlow, director of operations at Zed Connect Inc., a Los Angeles ELD provider.

There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S., according to the American Trucking Associations.

Companies that build the devices, which link to a semi-truck’s engine, capturing the movement and recording how much time a trucker spends behind the wheel, say they expect a sales rush over the last two months of this year. Federal law limits truckers to 11 hours of daily driving.

Federal regulators and large trucking groups have pushed for adoption of ELDs to prevent driver cheating on paper logs.

While enforcement of the mandate starts Dec. 18, truckers won’t immediately be put out of service or told to stop driving if they don’t comply with the deadline. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have established a grace period until April 1. However, drivers who don’t comply starting in December could still face fines or collect violation points in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability, or CSA, scoring program.

Regardless of driver and fleet preparation, there’s almost no chance the ELD mandate won’t start as planned in December, said Michael Baudendistel, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp. He called truckers’ holding out hope for a delay as just “wishful thinking.”

ELD providers toldTrucks.com they also believe the mandate won’t be scuttled even as objections to the rule by many drivers mount.

Barrett Young, director of marketing at KeepTruckin

Barrett Young, director of marketing at KeepTruckin. (Photo: Brian Hadden/Trucks.com)

“Realistically, from an objective point of view, the odds of the mandate being delayed are slim to none,” said Barrett Young, director of marketing for KeepTruckin, a San Francisco-based ELD provider.

Congress has voted nearly five times against delaying the mandate, Young said.

Those not in compliance will be faced with picking from more than 100 FMCSA eligible devices while also learning how to use the ELDS during the busiest part of the year for many truckers – the holiday rush, the companies said.

The last-minute holdouts have played havoc on the supply forecasts of ELD providers, who are trying to ensure they have enough product available to handle a sales crush expected to hit in mid-November and continue into early next year.

There was “a lot of noise in the marketplace over the summer,” with attempts by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to delay the mandate, which caused slow summer sales for ELD providers, said Harlow of Zed Connect, a startup partially backed by diesel engine maker Cummins Inc.

Besides recording driving time, the devices must also retain the data and generate a file that can be reviewed by commercial vehicle inspectors during roadside inspections through web services, email, USB or Bluetooth. Drivers must be able to show their driving data from the current day, as well as the previous seven days. ELDs must be fully functional within one minute of the engine receiving power, according to FMCSA.

Drivers operating vehicles older than model year 2000 are exempt from running e-logs.

Fred Fakkema, vice president of compliance at Zonar Systems.

Fred Fakkema, vice president of compliance at Zonar Systems. (Photo: Brian Hadden/Trucks.com)

Some are suggesting truckers use a transitional technology known as Automatic On-Board Recording Devices, or AOBRDS, as a bridge to ELD compliance. It automatically collects a trucker’s driving hours and emails a report that law enforcement can review. If purchased before Dec. 18, truckers can use AOBRDS until Dec. 16, 2019, then they must switch to ELDs, said Fred Fakkema, vice president of compliance at Zonar Systems, a Seattle fleet management technology company.

“It’s a path many companies are choosing, especially because of the data file transfer portion of the ELD mandate,” Fakkema said. Not worrying about the file transfer part really puts the customer at ease.”

As the company ramps up production in preparation for those latecomers to start shopping for a device, it’s still hard to predict how many devices to produce.

“We’ve heard that approximately 16 percent of truckers say they are going to walk away from trucking when ELDs become mandatory,” Fakkema said. “Nobody seems to be in a panic about the mandate. They are like it is what it is, and if I get caught, I get caught.”

Read Next: Trucking Companies Prepare for the Imminent ELD Mandate

12 Responses

  1. John holt

    Undoubtedly these people haven’t been around the trucking industry very long and don’t realize the power the owner operaters have in this business nor none of them been around long enough to remember the truckers strike in 1979.done think for one minute that it can’t happen again!!!🖕

  2. John holt

    It’s not a secret that the big mega carriers are behind the elogs mandate because they feel they’re at a disadvantage most of drivers feel like they’ve put themselves in that position but also think every driver in this country does as well ,but let me assure you most of us real professional drivers don’t want it ,I’m not talking about the idiots the big carriers are training to put in these trucks that most definitely don’t need to be in a truck in the first place so that the big carriers can get the $15.000 a student tax breaks for training them,because it’s all about $$$ .the ATA in no uncertain terms has ever been behind the owner opps nor the small trucking companies either,they’re behind the big carriers because they’re the ones that are lining the ATA’S pockets. The eld mandate is not about safety nor is it about drivers so called cheating on they’re paper logs it’s all about control and another thing is the eld manufacturers are the ones that are gonna get the most out of the mandate because of all the BILLIONS OF $$$ they stand to make!

    • TomT

      It has been like that since de-regulation. I remember when large companies cut the rates so low no one could compete in 79 and 80. This is all about eliminating the competition of the small companies and O.O.s who can run circles around the large companies and give better service and thanks to lobbying of ATA and others they got it through despite the negative safety consequences. This will most certainly add to the race to the bottom. The only satisfaction or payback if you will, is the fact that once autonomous trucks go on line ELDs will become obsolete . This could still be overturned but first you have to clean the swamp in D.C.

      • The Pocket Truck Stop Guide®

        It is shocking to me just how out of touch the morons in DC are. I mean, I knew that they deliberately cater to special interests and money. But how on earth do they not see the cluster**** that is about to happen with this ELD BS? How do they wait until the last minute to at least extend the deadline? You’ve got the OOIDA and the ATA putting pressure on them, yet they’re still acting like freakin zombies…

  3. Gary Graham

    People who say there is no chance for a delay are people who are trying to sell the damn things.and trying to get richer! Guess what? There is a good chance the delay is coming, your payoff to your local political friends Maybe​ money pisst away.and you can eat ELD’S for lunch.and I hope they choke on them.truckers are the life line to are country, and we don’t make a lot of money, get your hands out of are pockets.your killing the life line.america don’t need the FMC$A get rid of them and save the tax payers money.God bless the USA, and I pray for the ELD delay to come.amen.

    • Josue

      I wish this stupid ElD could be delayed, the idea this ElD enforcement its for safety is ludacris , we are not robots, we are going to drive tired because otherwise we are going to run out hours
      After you are force to spend 10 hrs on the truck stop , the first 5 hrs sleeping and the other 5 doing nothing, waiting to start driving, we are going force to drive at night

  4. TomT

    If they think 1 million truck drivers is missing now just wait till this goes into effect. They have no idea what a real driver shortage looks like. They are quickly running out of naive and uninformed people now who think they can make a living with what they pay and put with all the disrespect, over regulation micro-management, they aint seen nothing yet. 125 % turnover rate will not look bad compared to whats coming.

  5. Mo

    2 items that most people have forgotten about.

    1) ….truckers can use AOBRDS until Dec. 16, 2019.
    2) FMCSA has officially (whatever that means) ruled that the engine, not the truck, is the determining factor on ELD compliance.

    I don’t see no stinkin’ ELD deadline. We (us nonconformists) have 2 full years to figure out and implement the game-plan. Look at Dec. 16, 2017 as half-time…

    So, basically, anyone can either purchase a 2000 or older truck…or install a 2000 or older engine in ANY year truck. Sounds like the best of both worlds. A new (or newer) truck with a non-emissions engine. Doesn’t get better than that.

    When the brokers call, because one of the mega-carriers left their freight on the dock, I’ll be a-waiting. Ask Amazon why they’re going after the smaller carriers? Ask Wal-Mart why they have stated that if you moonlight with Amazon, they’ll cut your contract. Pretty much figure on this Holiday season being better than the usual amount normal capacity shortage issues.

    FL & TX have been hit pretty hard and looks like there’s additional HC/Tropical Storms on their way, in the Gulf. Supplies will need to be continually sent in, another hit on Holiday season capacity.

    2018 is looking to be a fantastic year!!!! ELD fallout from uniformed truckers, and the mega-carriers running out of mirror foggers to train and run teams, means nothing but opportunity….Opportunity for smart businessmen (O/O’s) to swoop in and help those poor ‘ol broker @$%#! out…

    Just smile and wave….

    • kalundomabuku

      installing a pre 2000 engine in a newer truck will get you in trouble with the epa and on the west coast, Glider kits are made and sold by fitzgeralds. but the loophole for operating the glider kits might be closed up, Fitzgeralds makes all types of glider kits, 2017 trucks with reman series 60 non emission engines, . they register it as a 2017 truck, But when these trucks get out on the west coast they get ticketed from Law Enforcement due to black smoke,


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