ELD compliance still a problem as April 1 approaches

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The hard deadline of the ELD mandate is finally here, as the market sees a rush in fleets trying to buy and fit ELDs on their trucks to steer clear of penalties or hits to their CSA scores. Though the mandate had been in existence since mid-December last year, the convictions had largely been sporadic, which is expected to change from April 1.

FreightWaves caught up with Ken Evans, the CEO of Konexial, to understand the compliance rates and what the hard deadline signals for the truck industry. “I’m familiar with a couple of data points that have been reported in the press which claim more than a 90 percent compliance rate for ELD. I do not believe that their data is accurate,” he said.

The data that most of the surveys report are from fleets that run 6 or more fleets, which brings in a lot of bias into the results as 91% fleets operate 6 or fewer truck. Evans notes that there are at least half a million Class 8 vehicles without an ELD device on them and that the majority of the 16 million Class 3 to Class 7 vehicles are not compliant either. “We have data on how many devices that we think have been manufactured and it is not anywhere near enough to support the whole industry,” he said.

Konexial is a provider of ELDs, and this lets Evans discuss the mandate with truckers and their perceptions of it. What comes back to him frequently is the fact that most of the truckers seem to be resisting the mandate and do not plan to fit ELDs until the time they get shut down by the authorities.

Also, the fact that the FMCSA issues exemptions and waivers to the mandate is looked at skeptically by many truckers and slows down the overall adoption rates. Evans insists that if complete compliance across the industry needs to be realized, FMCSA must stop issuing exemptions and waivers. “A lot of small fleets are not going to respond to anything less than a massive fine and being shut down. It may take the hard enforcement to make them actually to buy ELDs,” he said.

The late adoption of ELDs is also a cause for concern. ELD is an electronic equipment and like all such devices, takes some time to get used to. Though every ELD comes with a manual and even video tutorials, Evans feels that a lot of truckers seek personal guidance and training, looking for someone to talk to them on the phone. “You would be surprised at the number of people that have been using a paper log who don’t even understand the rules,” he said. “So you have to explain the rules to them, so that they understand how the ELD actually works.”

But the sudden influx in ELD sales leading up to the hard deadline puts an undue strain on the ELD providers to help train truckers. Evans believes the problem is that a lot of them have waited until the day before they are potentially going to be shut down, and that it is not feasible for the ELD vendors to address such a huge audience with their ELD initiation.

Fleets that run without ELDs would be issued 10 hours out of service when caught, forcing them to sit for 10 hours before they are allowed to continue to their destination. Subsequently, the truck would be placed out of service until the owner installs an ELD. Evans considers that enforcing these practices would be key to making fleets compliant.

The complaints about the ELD mandate are not necessarily centered around the device itself, but rather on the hours-of-service (HoS) rules. “It is the HOS that has people upset and the reason why this rule is opposed for so long and continues to be emphasized. Once you start working for the day, from the first minute you start driving, the 14-hour clock starts and can’t be paused for any reason,” said Evans. “So the main complaint we hear is around this and the fact that if a driver has an unforeseen delay, he can get stuck somewhere away from his final destination. This sometimes can get very inconvenient, and there is no way for a driver to legally get where he needs to go.”

Evans concludes by saying that the ELD mandate would actually shed light on the issue drivers face around detention and that it has the potential to make it a level playing field for everyone. With an ELD on deck, carriers now hold records to their locations with timestamps, which they can use to bill on their detention forms. It has also enabled dynamic load matching, which would not have been possible without an ELD. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to observe the industry as it braces itself to face the hard deadline a few days from now.

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Vishnu Rajamanickam, Staff Writer

Vishnu writes editorial commentary on cutting-edge technology within the freight industry, profiles startups, and brings in perspective from industry frontrunners and thought leaders in the freight space. In his spare time, he writes neo-noir poetry, blogs about travel & living, and loves to debate about international politics. He hopes to settle down in a village and grow his own food at some point in time. But for now, he is happy to live with his wife in the middle of a German metropolitan.

One Comment

  1. It’s all about the money ! He thinks it will be interesting to observe the industry as it faces the hard deadline of the eld mandate . I tell you what would be interesting is the day of deadline all trucker’s stopped trucking, I myself already have stopped, it’s not trucking anymore so y not park,m driver’s ! And they wanna make a big deal about driver shortage !! I don’t understand. Seems to me that’s what they want , as if their isn’t enough rules and regulations for truckdriver’s now the eld. As long as truck driver’s do nothing about it and don’t make a stand. Then you driver’s deserve to be miserable driving down the road. The same road we as truckdriver,s use to enjoy and love doing. I no for me being 1 less truckdriver won’t do anything! !! At least I’m making a stand for what I loved doing. . For the rest of driver’s that wanna do nothing, WISHING YOU MANY MISERABLE MILES !!!!

  2. President Donald Trump just signed an executive order to end the April 1st deadline of of strict ELog enforcement ,because the FMCSA have given out unfair exemptions to certain carriers. You don’t have to use E-logs unless you choose to. Make America Great Again!

    1. Where did you hear this from? I’d like to see this for myself I tell you he should just abolish eld’s better yet abolish log books they ate no more than a way to control you and me and everyone else that either drives for someone or for themselves you no longer live in a free country you live in tyranny and communism

  3. We got our ELDs this week and I find myself speeding a lot more and running through some red lights and taking all kinds of risks that I wouldn’t normally do to race the clock because it counts drive time when I’m driving through the truck stops trying to find a parking space and when being loaded and unloaded when they tell me to drop my counts on my drive time just going around the building so I also do quicker pretrip inspections to beat the clock and if I move 5 inches it logs it as driving so. And that sucks when you are at a shipper that kicks you off of their property after you are loaded it puts you in violation just to find a parking spot and some take 6 to 8 hours to load/unload you and they dont give a dam they just tell you you have to leave because they dont pay for it you do it is long over due for a Trucker strike

  4. You know, the HOS rules are constitutionally illegal if you are a citizen of the United States of America. Why are truck drivers forced to live with restrictions of everyday life, telling them when they can move about their own country? As a free US citizen, you have a right to move about unrestricted, freely, and unthreatened. Do you think those that are creating this kind of lifestyle would live this way themselves? NO, they would not. And if they see a threat to their commodity, they will bend these rules , as they have for the cattle haulers, who are allowed to drive 150 mile radius past the 14 hours. We’ll, what about fresh produce? That’s not important? So we decide everyday, do I shower today, or do I eat? Just stopping to use the restroom can take an hour and a half out of the " 14" hours. We are not machines.

  5. I got to a dock at 7:40am this morning and the receiving personnel took a very long time to unload my trailer, and I had 6:20 minutes left on my 14 hours clock and they unloaded the trailer and had me sitting on the dock, even when I was telling them that my time is going to run out right there, but they didn’t care and went out on their break time “which took forever” and when I was completely out of time they came back and called me to tell me that I need to come get my stamped BOL and pull away from the dock, by this time I’m thinking how cruel and uncaring can these people be… I tried to remind them again that if I drive off I’m going to be hit with an HOS violation, the person in charge said “they’ll have to tow the truck away from the dock if that’s what it’s gonna take…”
    I’m looking at them like I got here early enough with time on my clock to be unloaded and find somewhere to park, but you guys took the whole time to do your job and now you wanna get me towed because of their negligence and laziness… by this time I was so pissed off so I rolled away from the dock door and I got the HOS warning.
    Thank God it wasn’t worse than that… if I can be honest though, I’ve been a truck driver about four months now and it’s not what everyone was telling it would be, all I can clearly say it’s just a big bunch of lies, then to top it off the ELD 14 hour rule is making my life even harder driving this truck, some days I really wanna quit.

  6. Why don’t you take your fucking elds and shove them up your ass you communist Hitler lover we don’t live in a commy country this is America land of the free not the suppressed and ruled who are you or anyone else to think you have the right to control me or my business I’m not black and slavery was abolished what we need is to take all you idiots out back and hang you for being a trucking terrorist