Watch Now

Few stragglers remain ahead of ELD deadline

(Photo credit: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

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


  1. danny moreno

    I think the whole ELD laws were pushed and lobbied by execs in the larger companies like swift and c.r. england. their biggest competition is the owner-operators & the small fleet owners who enjoyed a little bit of slack from using paper logs vs costly ELDs (which cost money to install and more down time for a truck). The reason why bigger companies want this is because they know a lot of companies wont survive the new regulations and pretty soon there will only be four companies in business, sort of like how every industry functions in america. Im hoping this increases the rates of freight otherwise we will be in the toilet. us and a lot of other smaller companies will have to close doors.

  2. Noble1

    For some this may be foreign . Therefore is will be my genuine pleasure to enlighten you .

    The origin of the (E)lectonic (L)ogging (D)evice for trucks = WERNER ENTERPRISES INC.

    And their goal was to : Propose it for industry-wide implementation ! Which THEY did and which has occurred in the USA so far !

    I’m going to quote the info from their website . It’s going to be a long quote . However, you will have an opportunity to read its origin right here on freightwaves .

    And without further ado ,

    What is an Omnitracs system?
    Omnitracs, Inc. (Qualcomm) is a global satellite tracking system Werner installed in each truck in 1992 to track truck locations, identify problems and determine delivery times. The unit, maintained in each Werner truck, is similar to a mini computer and features both a touchscreen and keyboard. It’s used as a communication tool for drivers and Werner personnel, as a GPS for routing and directions and as an Electronic Logging Device.

    What is Werner’s Electronic Logging Device?
    Werner’s innovative Electronic Logging Device changed the way the entire trucking industry views safety. The system replaced the traditional paper logbooks used to record work hours and activities and is being proposed for industry-wide implementation. Connected via satellite through Omnitracs, the Electronic Logging Device helps professional drivers manage their time efficiently. Without the hassle of paper logbooks, Werner drivers can focus on what they do best — driving.

    Why did Werner develop the Electronic Logging Device?

    Werner Enterprises developed the system with several goals in mind:
    Ensure drivers are in compliance with federal regulations. The system helps track hours worked and hours available. Werner monitors these records, identifies load delivery problems and makes adjustments for on-time delivery, such as swapping loads with other drivers who have available hours.

    Assist with driver safety. Since the Electronic Logging Device tracks work hours, Werner can organize deliveries according to drivers’ work schedules/hour availability.

    Keep shippers apprised of load delivery schedules. The system enables Werner to track truck locations and more closely determine drivers’ abilities to meet delivery schedules based on hours worked and their available hours.

    Reduce hassle for drivers. When asked to identify job frustrations, “filling out paper logbooks” typically is among the top five items listed. If drivers are stopped by a carrier enforcement official, or are at a weigh station and don’t have their logbooks current, they can be fined and shut down for hours, which then affects their paychecks.

    Improve driver retention and recruitment. Drivers prefer driving over filling out paperwork. In addition, Werner’s excellent overall safety record and high marks on roadside inspection problems mean drivers have more opportunities to keep moving with fewer delays.

    What are logbooks and why do drivers keep them?

    Professional drivers throughout the United States use logbooks for tracking work hours and recording work activities (driving, on-duty not driving, sleeping or off-duty). Drivers must chart their hours and activities every day by drawing lines through a grid and calculating the hours worked and hours available. Federal officials periodically inspect driver logbooks at weigh stations and other locations to certify they have been kept up-to-date by the driver, as well as ensure the driver is following the hours-of-service regulations.

    Is the Werner Electronic Logging Device easy to operate?

    Yes! In fact, it is so easy that all information is right at our drivers’ fingertips through a touchscreen or keyboard.
    What was the process involved in developing Werner’s Electronic Logging Device?

    Werner began developing electronic logs in 1994. The entire project was created in-house by Werner’s team of computer specialists, with help from departments throughout the company. Werner began testing the system in its trucks in July 1995; all participating professional drivers continued to maintain traditional paper logbooks. In 1997, Werner contacted the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and obtained approval for continued testing. In 1998, Werner tested the system with approximately 2,000 of its professional drivers. On June 10, 1998, the FHWA officially authorized Werner to adopt electronic logs under a pilot program and discontinue use of paper logbooks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted exemption from paper log usage Sept. 21, 2004.

    Are there any safety issues related to using Werner’s Electronic Logging Device?
    The system enables drivers to focus their attention and energy on safely transporting merchandise across the U.S. instead of worrying their paper log is not up-to-date.

    What do federal and state regulatory personnel do when a driver is stopped?

    Professional drivers provide officials with a copy of a notice explaining how to retrieve the logs from Omnitracs. If the official requests, drivers can show them an eight-day recap of the hours on the screen, or the logs may be faxed to a specific number.
    I use paper logbooks for myself to track my hours-of-service; can I do that with the Werner system?

    While you should always have a paper logbook with you in the event of an Omnitracs outage, your electronic logs should be your primary and only record of duty status; federal regulations do not allow for more than one. This often prompts trainers to ask, “If that is so, how is my student allowed to keep a paper log record of his or her hours?” The answer: the student’s primary record of duty status is the electronic logs on the Omnitracs system. Students keep a paper log as training so they can learn how to log in a paper logbook in the event of an Omnitracs outage. In addition, the student’s paper log MUST be clearly marked “For Training Purposes Only.”

    How will this system impact my miles?
    Werner has used this satellite-based log system for years to dispatch loads to our drivers. Due to better planning, driver miles have increased. The system allows managers to preplan and assign loads based on accurate future and available driving hours. This allows Werner to maximize the time of professional drivers on the road.

    End quote .

    And there you have it . That’s who developed it and why , according to their “statements” .

    I don’t buy in their “Assist driver safety” etc. propaganda , however, you are free to believe in whatever you please as long as it doesn’t cause harm . Although , I prefer to believe in what I consider to be “the truth” and reasonable .

    In my humble opinion ……….

  3. Vasily Kapanzhi

    they try to control your life cost owner operator lots cash goverment don’t care, rate drop truck cost up now ELD can’t work this way i;m not a robat to go sleep turn switch off and you out I WISH

  4. Utalio

    I keep thinking the department of transportation,The (fmcsa) & everyone else thats involve with their BS.Their all full of shit.They are working the trucking industry to the ground.

  5. Richard Simon

    It’s just not worth doing it anymore. Trucking has been beat to the ground with pure garbage . Hope the feds can’t get their gifts on time.

Comments are closed.

Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected]