Despite urging from regulators to switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs) well ahead of the December deadline, as many as 20 percent of regional carriers continue to use automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs). This is 10 percent more than the numbers reported by super-regional or nationwide carriers.
Each week, FreightWaves partners with CarrierLists and EROAD to survey a new sample of carriers about their telematics devices ahead of the December 16 deadline to switch to ELDs. The surveys continuously show that most carriers are already ELD-compliant. The holdouts, however, seem to be standing strong.
The three-week moving average of surveyed carriers reporting ELD compliance remained over 90 percent this week. The latest survey included results from 214 carriers. Of those carriers, 196 were already running ELDs. The rest continued to use AOBRDs. The results include carriers of various sizes running all routes.
While the overall compliance numbers do not change much week-to-week, this week’s survey brought the three-week moving average of ELD-compliant regional carriers down a full 6 percent from last week. As of this week, 21 percent of regional carriers report still running AOBRDs. This number is up from 15 percent last week.
The changing percentages from week-to-week do not represent more carriers switching to AOBRDs. Instead, these changes are the result of a different group of carriers being surveyed each week. The changing respondents help provide a wider view of the industry as a whole.
Regional and super-regional fleets have reported lower compliance numbers than nationwide fleets since the beginning of the survey. Surveyed nationwide carriers have been reporting 98 percent ELD compliance for several weeks now.
For several weeks, super-regional fleets seemed to be closing in on nationwide fleets. Last week, super-regional fleeted reported 93 percent compliance. That number dropped to 91 percent after this week’s survey. Still, super-regional fleets are 12 percent more compliant than their regional peers.
Regional carriers continue to report the lowest compliance, coming in at 79 percent ELD-ready this week. 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.
While waiting until the fourth quarter to make the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs is not expected to have a detrimental effect on the overall market, procrastination could cost individual carriers in a big way. Waiting could make holdouts susceptible to hardware shortages, lost time and fines on the highway.
“We talk with many carriers that haven’t even started planning for the transition to ELDs yet. Given the impact on operations and how drivers and administrators do their jobs, it’s best to get started now,” said Soona Lee, EROAD’s director of compliance. “We’ve helped a lot of fleets pull together a careful plan that keeps disruptions to a minimum, while making sure everyone understands how to adapt to the HOS reporting requirements they will be facing. In general, this is taking more time and effort than carriers are initially planning for.”
Even if carriers running shorter routes are not planning to switch until closer to the deadline, those fleets should develop in-depth plans to make sure the change goes over smoothly when it does occur.
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.