The ELD mandate is all set to take effect on December 18, 2017. Contrary to rumors, the compliance deadline is not going to be delayed.
The FMCSA, to ensure a successful and easier transition, has confirmed that ELD violations after December 18, 2017, won’t place vehicles out of service until April 1, 2018. The CSA scores also won’t take a hit until April 1. However, truckers without ELDs after December 18, 2017, will be cited and fined.
As the compliance deadline is just a few weeks away, we thought it would be best to discuss what carriers and truckers should expect after full ELD implementation.
There are some carriers who love the idea of the ELD mandate. However, there are also some who believe that the ELD rule is going to make them unproductive and inefficient.
We believe that the ELD mandate is going to have a significant impact on the trucking industry, and most of it is good. Let’s see what to expect after December 18, 2017.
- Reduction in paperwork — According to the FMCSA, the upcoming ELD mandate will save the trucking industry one billion dollars every year because of reduced paperwork. Since electronic logging devices are all about logging information electronically, carriers would also be able to save a lot of money by eliminating paperwork.
- Quicker roadside inspections — We believe that electronic logging devices will lead to quicker roadside inspections. Safety inspectors won’t have to deal with manual paper logs or bad handwriting, which will only speed up the inspection process.
- Fewer hours-of-service violations — The primary purpose of electronic logging devices is to reduce hours-of-service violations and make roads safer. As an ELD automatically notifies the driver about upcoming HOS violations, drives will have significantly fewer violations after the compliance deadline.
- Other violations — Apart from hours-of-service violations, we believe we are also going to see a reduction in other type of violations, e.g., vehicle-related violations which are very common. The CVSA recently released their Brake Safety Day results, which showed that more than 1,000 vehicles were placed out-of-service because of faulty brakes. Some ELDs have vehicle diagnostic features and alert drivers and fleet managers in case there’s a problem with their vehicles.
- Less fuel wastage — According to estimates, for a truck that consumes $70,000 worth of fuel every year, approximately $5,600 is wasted on idling. Fuel wastage is a big issue, and electronic logging devices will help control it. With features such as idle-time tracking, fleet managers will be able to identify drivers who idle for too long or too frequently. This will lead to better fuel efficiency across the trucking industry.
- Better driver retention rates — Driver shortage has officially become the number one issue for America’s trucking industry, which has only increased the importance of driver retention. Electronic logging devices will allow carriers to manage their drivers more efficiently (in terms of hours-of-service, fatigue levels, driving behaviors, etc.) which will improve their driver retention rates.
On the other hand, fleets who are yet to use electronic logging devices will face a few difficult weeks ahead of the compliance deadline. They will have to adjust to this new technology by understanding how it operates. Drivers may have to learn a few new things. Fleet managers will also have to learn how to operate in a post-ELD world and how to fully leverage the insights and data that electronic logging devices provide.
It will become all the more difficult if you install ELDs just before December 18, 2017. You won’t have enough time to familiarize yourself with these devices without risking penalties and fines.
Therefore, we recommend that you should install ELDs right now, so you can have a couple of extra weeks to do “practice runs”.
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