Cash Flow CornerDriver issuesNewsRegulationTechnology

So my ELD provider just quit on me, now what do I do?

If your ELD provider suddenly shuts down service and goes out of business, do you know what to do? They may be no clear-cut answer, but there is a path to compliance. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

By now, everyone has heard the news: One20, the social community that offers services, including electronic logging devices (ELDs), to truck drivers at prices they can afford, is shutting down its ELD offering. As of June 18, the company said in a statement on its website, One20 will no longer service or provide support for the devices.

For those drivers using One20’s F-ELD product, that means they must find another ELD device before that deadline or risk fines and being put out of service. With over 250 devices self-certified on the FMCSA website, there are plenty of choices, but what if you choose a company that also goes out of business? What happens then?

With so many devices on the market, there is likely going to be some sort of paring down of products in the near future, although that doesn’t appear to have happened yet, Collin Mooney, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), which works to achieve uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial motor vehicle inspections and enforcement by certified inspectors, tells FreightWaves. “The list of devices seems to be growing,” he said.

Fortunately, in the One20 case, drivers received nearly a month’s notice to find another device, but what happens when you wake up one morning only to learn that your ELD is no longer operational because the company shut down? Mooney said he wasn’t aware of that happening yet but acknowledged it could be a possibility with so many devices on the market and startup companies continuing to offer new products.

The FMCSA regulations on ELD compliance do not appear to address this specific situation, and Mooney himself was unsure if there was a specific policy in place for this situation. He did, though, suggest that should a driver find their device doesn’t work because the provider suddenly shut down, it would likely be addressed under several answers related to a non-functional or damaged device covered in FMCSA’s FAQ document.

According to that document, if an ELD malfunctions, a driver must:

  • Note the malfunction of the ELD and provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours;

  • Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days, and record the records of duty status on graph-grid paper logs that comply with 49 CFR 395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD; and

  • Continue to manually prepare RODS in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8 until the ELD is serviced and back in compliance. The recording of the driver’s hours of service on a paper log cannot continue for more than 8 days after the malfunction; a driver that continues to record his or her hours of service on a paper log beyond 8 days risk being placed out of service.

It would appear, Mooney said, that the device not working due to a company shutdown would be covered under the malfunction scenario, but there are no known instances of this yet, so even he can’t be certain.

Mooney did suggest that anyone needing to buy a device research their purchase before jumping in.  “It’s like buying a car,” he said. “If you buy a lemon, you’ve bought a lemon. You still have a regulatory [obligation to meeting the ELD rules], so do your due diligence.”

In light of the One20 situation, several ELD providers have stepped forward with special offers trying to attract drivers to their solutions.

The day before word came out that One20 was shutting down, Continental launched a promotion designed to attract ELD users who were dissatisfied with their current model. The Trade In-Trade Up promotion runs until July 14, 2018. It offers a $100 rebate to an existing ELD owner who switches to the VDO RoadLog ELD.

“In spite of the fact that there are a lot of ELD options on the market, many ELD owners are dissatisfied and downright frustrated with the ELD solution they’ve chosen. So, we’re offering them a second chance to choose a better option, as well as a $100 rebate when they make the switch to the VDO RoadLog ELD,” said Jay McCarthy, Continental’s VDO RoadLog marketing manager.

In a blog posting this week, BigRoad Freight touted its industry experience and longevity – it’s part of Fleet Complete, which has a 20-year history and global presence.

“Everyone is trying to get their share of the ELD pie by outcompeting each other in pricing, however, as shown by the sad example of One20, cheaper ELD options are not necessarily long-lasting,” the blog posting stated. “One-time purchase is not a viable business model to deliver consistently reliable service and up-to-date regulatory compliance, and customers should be wary of purchasing a one-time-pay solution.”

BigRoad noted that it has been offering ELDs and AOBRDs for five years now and that “its award-winning electronic logging device has been recognized by Frost & Sullivan as the #1 ELD solution across North America based on several factors that include price/performance value and usability.”

The BigRoad ELD also includes a freight matching solution within the app.  

GeoSpace put out a statement as well, criticizing One20 and offering fleets one year of its Pro service with no monthly fee.

“While no ELD company can be viable in the long run on a product like an ELD without a revenue base for larger fleets, GeoSpace is offering fleets that transition from ONE20 the same pricing as owner operators, the ELD hardware at $199, and we will allow fleets to use our PRO service for a year with no monthly fee,” it said. “We’re doing this because you are dealing with a failed vendor, and we know you need time to adjust your budget planning, given where you thought you were just four days ago.”

A single user version, designed for owner-operators, includes no monthly fee, the company said.

Other providers may also be offering promotions in the week’s ahead, but as Mooney said, drivers have a regulatory duty to be compliant, so for One20 users, waiting until June 17 to buy a new device might not be a good option.

Stay up-to-date with the latest commentary and insights on FreightTech and the impact to the markets by subscribing.

Show More

Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.