The ELD Mandate: Can It Wait?

 

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago upheld the ELD Mandate created by the FMCSA last December. The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) had challenged the mandate in 2011 and successfully blocked it. This time, the Court ruled in favor of the FMCSA.

The ELD Mandate requires all Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers that currently log Hours of Service using a hand written log to begin logging Hours of Service electronically via an ELD (Electronic Logging Device). The impact of this ruling is staggering, as an estimated 84% of small to medium transportation companies are still using paper logs.

According to the mandate, the ELD must synchronize with the vehicle’s ECM (Electronic Control Module) to automatically record driving time. Because hand written HOS logs are subject to mistakes and manipulation, the goal is to provide a more accurate record of Hours of Service (HOS) for CMV drivers, which ultimately improves safety on the roads.

The Court did not change the ELD Mandate’s effective implementation date of December 18, 2017. This means transportation companies that still use paper logs have a little over a year to be compliant. After December 18, 2017, any transportation company NOT using an ELD solution will be subject to penalties.

Waiting is not an option

Because of the costs of tracking devices and implementation, and the process change required, many transportation companies are reluctant to become compliant. Some have decided to take a “wait and see” approach, and a few have gone so far as boasting that if they get caught, they’ll just pay the fine.

That attitude may cost them more than they are anticipating. With Supply Chain Management centered on Just in Time Inventory, many shippers will begin to only contract with carriers that are complaint. A shipper will not want their shipment held up by a driver stopped for being out of compliance. Many shippers are now asking “Are you ELD Compliant?” before even considering bids.

As an executive of a transportation company, the questions that must be asked are:

  • “What is the cost of NOT implementing an ELD system?”
  • “What is the cost of DELAYING?”

Bottom line

In the end, the cost of procrastinating or failing to meet the ELD Mandate will be much greater than the cost of becoming compliant. If they are not ELD compliant, a transportation company will lose bids to those transportation companies that are compliant. It is conceivable that a transportation company not ELD compliant by December 2017 may not be in business by January 2018, not because of any action from the FMCSA, but because of inaction to adapt to the new business environment.

Geoforce has what you need

Fortunately, through the GO7 Advanced Vehicle Tracker and our Advanced Vehicle Tracking software application, Geoforce has a solution that can be implemented before the deadline with enough time to train drivers and DOT personnel. As the ELD Mandate deadline approaches, any delay in implementation will make it more difficult to have personnel and equipment up to speed.

Contact Geoforce today for details and a demonstration.