While the ELD mandate became effective in December of 2017, the industry’s transition to electronic logging devices (ELDs) isn’t over.

According to the most recent “Bloomberg/Truckstop Quarterly Truckload Survey,” 28% (about 868,000) of non-exempt drivers ended Q4 without a compliant ELD.

While adoption has steadily increased since the survey, it’s reasonable to believe that hundreds of thousands have yet to adopt a compliant ELD.

If this is you, or if you’ve experienced issues with the ELD that you chose, this article is a must-read. We explain the key enforcement dates, the risks of non-compliance, and the warning signs to look for in a faulty ELD.

Key ELD mandate enforcement dates

The ELD mandate date — effective December 18, 2017

All non-exempt drivers are required to have a compliant ELD or an AOBRD installed. AOBRDs installed after December 18, 2017 are not compliant.

Fines and citations can be issued, but drivers won’t be put out of service, and CSA scores won’t be impacted until April 1, 2018. Fines range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

If you’ve received a citation already, be sure to check out our post on identifying and challenging incorrect ELD violation codes.

The agricultural extension ends — March 18, 2018

After March 18, 2018, those who qualified for the FMCSA’s agricultural extension will be required to have a compliant ELD installed. Fines and citations can be issued, but drivers won’t be put out of service, and CSA scores won’t be impacted until April 1.

Full ELD mandate date — enforcement April 1, 2018

After April 1, 2018, drivers without a compliant ELD will be given an out-of-service order and remain out-of-service until a compliant ELD is installed. Loss of daily revenue and the likely cost of towing the truck will negatively affect your profits. Additionally, CSA scores will take a hit, reducing your ability to get the best paying loads, increasing your chances of being inspected, and potentially increasing insurance premiums.

Will this actually be enforced?

Here’s what Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Executive Director Collin Mooney had to say when asked if there’s any chance of the “soft enforcement period” being extended:

“None whatsoever. We feel we’ve aided in the implementation process, and that’s it. We’re disappointed with some segments of the industry that have taken the view that April 1 is the new implementation date and not what it is — the beginning of a stiff approach to mandate enforcement.” (Source)

The ELD mandate date seems to be set in stone.

A warning about choosing a compliant ELD

As I’m sure you noticed throughout this article, we keep saying “compliant ELD.” Why? Not all ELDs, even those registered on the FMCSA’s self-certified list, are actually compliant.

Here’s what the former head of the FMCSA, Annette Sandberg had to say about the self-certification list:

“As a former regulator, the biggest concern I have is the number of ELD vendors that are currently on the FMCSA list [of approved vendors] that probably should not be.”

In fact, several well-known vendors included on the list have recently been granted extensions due to product issues that have resulted in customers being non-compliant.

In short, self-certified does not mean FMCSA compliant. We understand this is confusing. The next section contains our advice to identify and avoid a faulty ELD vendor.

The symptoms of a faulty vendor

To identify a faulty ELD vendor, we recommend reading the Google Play Store and iTunes app store user reviews, where drivers are reporting serious compliance issues.

When reading the reviews, look for references to the following issues:

  1. Incorrect location, odometer, and mileage data
  2. A reliance on cellular connectivity
  3. An unstable Bluetooth connection
  4. Not recognizing duty status changes or modifying them incorrectly
  5. Unreliable notifications for upcoming violations
  6. The app crashes or freezes
  7. Unable to send a compliant output file in a roadside inspection

If any of these issues are commonly mentioned, we recommend you proceed with caution. The FMCSA’s “Choosing an Electronic Logging Device Checklist” is another excellent resource to use when evaluating an ELD.

Ready to get compliant? Here’s why you should choose Motive.

Motive has a two-minute “plug and play” install and is the easiest-to-use ELD in the market. Our leading technology is backed by best-in-class, 24/7 support to walk you through every step.

Over 60,000 carriers and 1,000,000 registered drivers trust their compliance to us. A 4.8-star app store rating is proof that we deliver on our promises.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 855-434-3465 or send us an email at support@gomotive.com. We are available 24/7 to help our customers.

Request a free demo today.