The number of carriers running automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) continues to drop ahead of the mid-December deadline to install electronic logging devices (ELDs). Only 2% of carriers are still holding on to their old telematics devices, according to the most recent average of several FreightWaves surveys.
FreightWaves, in partnership with CarrierLists and EROAD, surveys a new group of carriers about their devices each week to take the pulse of the trucking industry ahead of the Dec. 16 compliance deadline. At that time, the AOBRD grandfather clause will run out and all non-exempt carriers will be required to install ELDs.
Fleets of all sizes running various routes take the survey, allowing for a comprehensive view of what is happening in the industry. This week, 194 carriers responded. A full 99%, or 192 carriers, reported running ELDs.
This is the highest compliance rate reported since the surveys began over the summer, up from 97.9% compliance last week. The next highest compliance rate was reported three weeks ago, when 98.2% of surveyed carriers were already running ELDs.
When this week’s results are combined with results from the past two weeks to form a three-week moving average, about 2% of carriers report still running AOBRDs. This is down from 3%, where the three-week moving average stalled for several weeks.
Nationwide carriers continue to lead the pack, reporting 99% ELD readiness. This number has remained the same for several weeks. Super-regional carriers continued to report 98% ELD readiness, holding their own against their nationwide peers.
Regional carriers are still lagging. These carriers, which tend to operate the fewest trucks, reported 93% compliance on a three-week moving basis. This is actually down from 95% last week.
Small carriers and owner-operators have reported their intention to wait until the fourth quarter to make the switch since the weekly survey began. These results seen in the surveys each week illuminate this trend. Most of these holdouts are expected to make the switch in November, but a small minority will inevitably wait until December.
For the purpose of the survey, regional carriers are defined as fleets that run in a 150- to 1,000-mile radius. Super-regional carriers run routes over 1,000 miles but not nationwide.
The transition from AOBRDs to ELDs is not expected to have an impact on capacity or the overall freight market. Still, carriers that plan to wait until the second week of December to make the switch should anticipate hiccups and headaches.
“Moving from AOBRDs to ELDs will present drivers with new interfaces, new data requirements, new ways of managing exemptions, new ways of annotating logs and other new processes like sharing data with inspectors at roadside,” said Soona Lee, EROAD’s director of regulatory compliance. “Drivers that have been using AOBRDs for a while have developed habits for using the hardware and capturing logs, and they’ll need ample time for training and adjustment to ELDs. Without it, carriers will find more compliance violations than they planned for.”
Regardless of fleet type, size or range, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been consistent in prompting carriers to make the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs sooner rather than later.
EROAD’s guide “Planning your move from AOBRD to ELD” gives eight key considerations and six critical questions to help select the right solution to achieve the easiest transition possible. Visit the AOBRD to ELD resource center to download the guide.