ELD Mandate: What We’ve Seen So Far

The ELD mandate, which requires electronic logging devices to be installed in all transportation vehicles, has encountered a few hiccups since it went into effect on December 18, 2017. Here are the top ELD mandate issues we’ve seen so far this year.

  • Law Enforcement and Grandfathered AOBRDs

    While automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) are still allowed to be in use until 2019, truck drivers are being pulled over by police officers to determine whether they have adopted the ELD mandate transition. Some of these drivers are receiving unnecessary citations due to law enforcement not being fully aware of exceptions and exclusions outlined in the grandfather clauses of the mandate.

    This problem is causing confusion for both drivers and police officers. When officers ask drivers whether they have an ELD or AOBRD installed, drivers working for a fleet company are often unaware of what equipment they have. Additionally, if the vehicle is equipped with an AOBRD, officers are citing drivers if the device isn’t transmitting data. However, that’s not yet a requirement for the device to comply with the law.

    So how do we solve this issue? Further education is necessary to make sure officers and drivers both understand the full implications of the mandate and that they communicate accordingly.

  • Inefficient Shipping Operations

    Truck drivers have been anticipating the ELD mandate transition for months. However, some shippers haven’t been up to the task of making sure drivers aren’t using too many hours sitting at the dock waiting for a shipment. Since the implementation of the mandate, there have been significant communication problems between warehouses, dock workers, and drivers.

    For example, drivers may spend thirty minutes to an hour at a receiving dock due to overly long loading and unloading times. This causes drivers to use up too many of their available hours because of communication issues and dock backlogs. Unfortunately, that results in hours-of-use service violations.

As with any new regulation, there are many kinks to work out. Issues with unnecessary legal citations and timing challenges are just a couple of the hiccups drivers are dealing with. Many truckers, especially those who were always opposed to the mandate, are understandably frustrated. Some are even considering turning in their trucks and leaving the industry. Clearly, responsibility shouldn’t fall exclusively on drivers.

Shippers must also play a more active role in helping drivers with legal compliance. Increasing operational efficiency and providing better customer service helps drivers reduce long loading and unloading wait times. In turn, these changes will help eliminate hours-of-service violations.

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