Smallest carriers report surging ELD compliance as December deadline looms

The percentage of carriers still running automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) has dropped to 3%, according to a FreightWaves survey conducted in conjunction with EROAD and CarrierLists. This number has remained under 5% for the past few weeks. 

The surveys are done in order to take the pulse of the trucking industry ahead of the December 16 electronic logging device (ELD) compliance deadline. At this time, the AOBRD grandfather clause will run out and all non-exempt carriers will be required to install ELDs in their trucks. 

Fleets of all sizes running various routes are included in the survey. The respondent pools change each week in order to get a more comprehensive view of the industry. This week, 166 carriers were polled. Only seven of them, or 4%, reported still using AOBRDs. 

When this week’s results are combined with the results from the past two weeks in order to form a three-week moving average, the result comes in at 3%. This is slightly higher than last week’s results. This climb does not indicate that more carriers have started installing AOBRDs. Instead, it is a result of the changing respondent pool. 

Nationwide carriers continue to report stronger compliance than super-regional and regional carriers, with a full 99% reporting ELD readiness. Super-regional carriers are working to close the gap, with 97% reporting compliance. These numbers have stayed basically the same over the last two weeks

Regional carriers are still lagging behind their peers in compliance, but they have gained ground. These carriers, which tend to operate the fewest trucks, reported 95% compliance on a three-week moving basis. 

With carriers across all lanes reporting 95% or higher compliance, it appears some of the earlier ELD hold-outs have begun making the transition away from their old devices. This aligns with survey results, which suggests many small carriers would wait to switch until the fourth quarter. 

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.

Of the carriers that have not yet started running ELDs, the majority are expected to do so in October or November. There will inevitably be a small minority of carriers that wait until December to become compliant, but this is not expected to have a significant impact on the overall freight market. 

Still, waiting until the last possible moment to start running ELDs could cost individual carriers when it comes to lost time and highway fines. The carriers with the fewest trucks are also the least compliance, meaning the carriers with the most to lose are the same carriers that cannot afford to lose it. 

EROAD’s guide “Planning your move from AOBRD to ELD” gives eight key considerations and six critical questions to help select the right solution and make to achieve the easiest transition possible. 

Visit the AOBRD to ELD resource center to download the guide.


  1. I’ll use AORBD till December 15 2019 then I’ll sell my truck for $5k,
    real talk, i’m o/o yesterday PROUD ‘UNION workers’ were unloading my reefer for 7 hours,
    then deadhead 1,5 hours to PU, then another 1,5 for loading, and another 7 hours of driving to delivery,
    do the math it was 18 hr/day. yes, you have to drive like that as O/O to stay on float !!!

  2. What a joke this survey is.
    I goes this way i guess:
    Hello, do you use AOBRD or ELD?
    Who in the right mind will say “yes I’m still using AOBRD”
    So your survey is a pile of……

  3. I wonder these people so called freight waves and those who seats in California are behind these nonsense of ELD because they making money in the struggle of poor driver as a driver we are part of not solving problem eld because these in silicon valley they know drivers will never become a United

    1. Elds do not drive trucks, nor does it make choices. The driver is solely responsible for the safe operation of a truck.NOT THE ELD!
      It’s poor driver decisions that cause accidents, bottom line, if you can’t operate safely within the confines of an ELD, GET OFF THE ROAD!!

Ashley Coker

Ashley is interested in everything that moves, especially trucks and planes. She covers air cargo, trucking and sponsored content. She studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and worked as an editor and reporter at two daily newspapers before joining FreightWaves. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.