Measures of how many truck drivers are ready to comply with the new electronic logging device mandate look to be about as divergent as political polls in recent elections.

With the new federal trucking rule going into effect this week, industry surveys and provider data show widely differing compliance estimates. The regulation requires truckers to install digital devices known as ELDS in their trucks to track the number of hours they spend behind the wheel.

The ELD mandate has been a contentious issue for the trucking industry.

The rule was enacted to ensure that all truckers comply with a federal hours-of-service rule. The rule limits driving to no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour workday. Drivers must then be off duty for 10 consecutive hours.

There are approximately 3.5 million truckers in the U.S., according to the American Trucking Associations.

Motor carrier and driver surveys suggest that larger carriers have installed the devices on their trucks prior to the Monday deadline. However, smaller carriers and independent truckers are not prepared. They were hoping for a last-minute delay in the rule taking effect by the Trump administration. It didn’t happen.

Approximately 75 percent of the 420 fleets surveyed by CarriersList and Kenco Group on Dec. 11 claimed to be ELD ready prior to the deadline.

That is up from less than 50 percent of carriers that said they were ELD ready in October, according to the survey.

However, an online survey by HELP Inc., the provider of PrePass weigh station bypass and technology services, found that of 1,620 respondents, 33 percent had selected and installed an ELD by early December.

Of those who have not installed an ELD, 68 percent said they did not plan to do so prior to Dec. 18, according to the survey, and 31 percent said they didn’t plan to install an ELD at all.

Some drivers, mainly independent truckers and small carriers, have threatened to leave the industry rather than switch to ELDs from paper logs. In the days leading up to implementation of the regulation, Republican Rep. Brian Babin of Texas urged Trump to issue a 90-day waiver from the regulation. He previously introduced HR 3282, a House bill to delay the deadline for two years. But the bill is parked in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. There’s no indication that it will move forward.

Around 50 percent of carriers surveyed by DAT Solutions said they planned to comply by the mandate’s deadline in late October. When asked if they were considering leaving the industry, 45 percent said they would see how the switch from paper logs affected their income before making a decision.

One ELD solutions provider estimates that about 80 percent of motor carriers were not yet compliant, and around 35 percent of that group had not begun to look at options yet in late October, according to Tom Reader, director of ELD marketing for J.J. Keller.

But J.J. Keller, as well as other ELD providers, have seen a surge in sales in December.

“Right now, we are seeing an increase in all facets — our orders and our technical support lines are up because everybody is scrambling,” Reader told Trucks.com. “We are hearing that many fleets are going to wait through the soft enforcement period before installing an ELD.”

While roadside enforcement is supposed to start issuing tickets to carriers not compliant on Dec. 18, they will not be blocked from operating until April 1, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, an agency charged with enforcing the ELD mandate.

ELD manufacturer Teletrac Navman estimates that between 70 percent to 80 percent are complying with the mandate.

“Of those not in compliance, most are smaller companies or independent truckers, who were hoping for a delay in the mandate,” Marco Encinas, product manager of global platforms at Teletrac Navman, told Trucks.com. “Everyone is making a last-ditch effort to cross the finish line — it’s a crazy time for everybody in the industry.”

These is also confusion about which ELD to purchase as there are more than 100 devices registered on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s self-certification website, said Deryk Powell, president of Velociti Inc., a technology deployment company headquartered in Riverside, Mo.

Powell estimates that between 50 and 70 percent of carriers, mainly small fleets, haven’t adopted an ELD prior to the mandate.

Velociti has about 300 mobile technicians that travel to its customers’ trucking yards to install ELDs. The company also provides support for the devices once they have been deployed.

“Business has remained steady throughout 2017,” Powell told Trucks.com. “We expect that pace will continue after Dec. 18.”

It is important for carriers to make sure they have a reliable device. If an ELD malfunctions, truck operators have only eight days to repair or replace the device or risk fines, Powell said.

There is also a fear that newer drivers in the industry, who have only used ELDs, may not know how to properly fill out paper logs if they experience an ELD failure, Powell said.

The estimated cost to implement ELDs is approximately $2 billion. The FMCSA estimates that ELDs will prevent 1,844 crashes, 562 injuries and save 26 lives annually by keeping tired truckers off the road. Switching to electronic logs also is expected to eliminate more than $1.6 billion in paperwork costs for motor carriers and law enforcement agencies reviewing drivers’ logs, according to the FMCSA.

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About The Author

Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa Hawes is a Trucks.com staff writer who covers trucking and freight. She is an award-winning journalist with over 10 years of experience covering the trucking industry. She can be found on Twitter: @cage_writer.

10 Responses

  1. Dustin

    This whole thing is a joke. Once they implement speed limiters (im sure at 62mph) the government will essentially be capping our income. Which im pretty sure is against the law.

    i also find it funny they implemented this a week before christmas, when they know guys are more likely to take a chance. That way they can wave the banner of “Look at all the big bad truckers oot there who were running illegal, what a good job we did here” and flaunt it as a success. Even though the guy who is the “outlaw” drove an extra 2 hours to spend xmas with his family rather then some god forsken truck stop.

    Reply
  2. C bailey

    The government has no idea about trucks what a joke I have been on the job for over. 50 years 9 million miles come on this new elds will be just like working in a sweat shop just a robot I am glad I am old enough to retire Mr President you said you were going to get people that had experience I don’t see one truck drive helping you the problem could be fixed very easily

    Reply
  3. Mike

    Sure…. will stop accident…. forcing the driver to drive 11 hrs in a 14 hrs shift even if the driver is tired. This all about $$ log book cause 3to5 buck a month, eld cost alot more a month plus all the equitment required to have in the truck

    Reply
  4. Teddy saye

    This is going to cause more accidents making drivers drive tired. This is purely about taking money for a new industry on our backs. I’m sick of the fucking government intervention in my business. I will charge each customer between 25 and 30 % more. To make up for the lost revenue. Yes it’s the end user again getting hurt.

    Reply
  5. Randy

    So started using the JJ Keller “ELD” and it’s the biggest POS I’ve seen for an ELD. I’ve used them previously (ELD not JJ Keller) and I’ll tell you that they aren’t that bad, however JJ Keller types should be illegal. The garbage system they sell is way off. I have run my phone app log (BigRoad) at the same time as JJ Kellers junk and the JJ Krapper was over an hour off by days end. You also can not put yourself on the drive line with Krapper. So I was told, and did wait 35 minutes for my break. Guess what? That’s right! Went back over 5 minutes and wanted me to retake my break. Of course I did no such thing. I won’t take over an hour out of my clock due to this junk. Another thing, when you log on to the app, your automatically placed on duty. The DOT should be cracking down on these fraud ELD companies, because I doubt drivers are going to run illegal logs because the ELD is junk. I know I won’t pay a fine for it, and I won’t certify them if they are wrong. This needs addressed. Wasting peoples legal hours, logging people on different status than their previous and making people take over 30 minute breaks because the ELD is junk is unacceptable…

    Reply
    • Floyd

      Just wait it will piss you off in due time. I was on an 4.5hrs into a 8hr split break the plow guys asked me to move to the other end of the parking lot to clear. Just waking up just move truck to help them out. Now I have to take a full 10 off duty or restart my 8. Big Road won’t respond. That is my most festive page mixed the beautiful mix of red and green lines.

      Reply
  6. ridgerunner

    look at the safety record of swift and jb hunt
    they had electronic logs for a long time
    they suck
    nothing safe about it

    Reply
  7. Jeffrey

    government dosent care about anything other than they can track four thousand people with out a warrant

    Reply
  8. Casey Jones

    Hats off to Mr Bailey up there.. 50 Years, 9 Million miles…
    I’m only about half that, but I’m leaving the industry too..
    No need to say all the reasons.. My old 2003 KW has paid her way well over the years.. 1.75 Million on her.. But each day is a new day.. I’ve been readying myself for this ever since they started talking about it, preparing another stream of income.. Getting angry doesn’t help.. Just getting on with a plan will move you forward.. Then, you’ll sit back and clearly see who is moving backward.. It won’t be me..

    Reply
    • John G.

      I’m not a truck driver and you are all safer for that! But my son in law is an independent driver and I need an education so I can talk to him. Just talked him out of a newer Freightliner with 1.1M miles on it for an older stick shift KW with 600K on it, new clutch, CAT engine, new tires. Engine compartment looked real clean; yup, engine rebuilt 200K miles ago. The interior showed almost no wear; maybe another LH driver. What is the expected life of the engine and drive train. Comments on older high mileage trucks would be most welcome.

      C uses some kind of an ELD and has done so for about four months; no problems so far. But he is strictly a LH driver and has a specialized trailer not a box. I wonder if most of the problems are mostly shorter hauls and box trailers but I don’t know. With my background in super hi-tech manufacturing, I can handle the mechanical stuff but not the business end. Boy do I need an education!

      As a matter of fact, C was looking for a “new” truck; the Mack dealer made a mistake and his Mack experienced a catastrophic failure and the truck; it is probably toast – three weeks to repair. So C went to a dealer looked the inventory (which was locked up) and I sat 8 hours away on my PC looking at pictures and stats. We got a KW not a Mack.

      What are the real major issues with the ELD? I am going to get C a good journal to manage his equipment; been there done that. I found more problems with maintaining the equipment than the software used to run it. And if you think ELD’s are a pain, try electronic medical records. I set up a medical practice to move to EMR; the biggest problem was disabling parts of the software we did not use and convincing the docs to get the software training (that was like herding cats). Once that was done it was not too much of a problem.

      We did have an advantage though: The trade publications took and rated about 100 systems based solely on user input. The surveys were good, separating hospitals and huge practices/ or hospital owned practices from medium sized and smaller practices. It looks like the trucking industry needs the same thing.

      If you could provide some input it would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply

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