The ELD mandate deadline is December 18, 2017, which is just a few months away from now. If you still haven’t installed ELDs, it means you are already late. And if you delay the ELD implementation process anymore, it is bound to cost you in the long term.
Waiting until the last minute to start the ELD implementation process is a mistake, and in this blog post, we list 5 reasons why you should not wait anymore.
1. You won’t be able to select the best ELD vendor
This is one of the biggest losses for carriers and fleets that are waiting for the last moment to begin the ELD implementation process.
As you must know, there are dozens of ELD vendors in the market. Some of them have very reliable ELD systems, while others are just providing unregistered, unreliable, and non-compliant ELD solutions.
The FMCSA’s list of self-certified ELDs is a good place to start your research. However, the responsibility falls on you to buy a compliant ELD solution that fulfills all the requirements set by the FMCSA.
The FMCSA’s list of self-certified ELDs may or may not provide you with that option. This is why researching for a reliable ELD vendor is such an important aspect that requires a lot of time and effort.
If you wait too long to start the implementation process, you would not have enough time to identify and select the best ELD vendor.
2. A shortage of ELDs
As the deadline grows closer, the trucking industry may experience a shortage of electronic logging devices.
Although ELD vendors are aware of the high demand that they would have to cater near the deadline, they are unlikely to manufacture more devices than necessary. If you wait for too long to install ELDs, you may find yourself in a difficult situation because of a possible shortage of ELDs.
In such a scenario, you’d either have to pick a less desirable ELD vendor to fulfill your compliance needs or risk being non-compliant after the ELD mandate deadline. Both situations are far from ideal.
3. Increased ELD prices
Many ELD vendors are competing against each other by offering cost-effective ELD solutions. However, the situation is expected to change as the deadline grows closer.
During the last couple of months, thousands of fleet owners would be trying to install ELDs. An increase in ELD demand is also expected to increase the prices of these devices.
By starting the ELD implementation process now, however, you can take advantage of the competition among different ELD vendors and lock competitive prices. You may not have that option once the demand goes through the roof.
4. No time for technical evaluation
As mentioned earlier, the responsibility falls on you to evaluate whether an ELD solution is fully compliant or not and if it fulfills all the requirements set by the FMCSA.
Technical evaluation is important, and if you wait for the last moment to begin your ELD implementation process, you won’t have enough time to check if an ELD solution is truly compliant or not.
There are several technical aspects that you will have to consider, which might be the difference between compliance and noncompliance.
For instance, do you know that the output file generated by your ELD must conform to the standards set by the FMCSA? Otherwise, it wouldn’t be considered fully compliant.
Recently, the FMCSA has published a free online ELD file validator tool on its website. You can use that tool to check if the output file generated by your ELD system conforms with the FMCSA’s standards or not.
However, you won’t have enough time to do it if you wait for the last moment to install ELDs.
On a similar note, the FMCSA also recently confirmed that cellular-based ELDs are a compliance risk and must not be relied upon. Instead, ELDs should use Bluetooth or USB connections to relay data between engine-connected vehicles and drivers’ mobile devices. Otherwise, drivers may become noncompliant if they operate in an area with no cellular coverage.
These are just a couple of technical points that you will have to consider before buying an ELD solution. And you will have to give yourself ample time for proper technical evaluation, which won’t be possible in the case of last-minute compliance.
5. ELD training
Perhaps the biggest reason why you shouldn’t wait for ELD implementation is that you need to give your drivers and fleet managers sufficient time for ELD training.
What if an inspector stops your driver and he does not know which supporting documents to provide? What if a driver can’t properly record duty status in a new ELD system he isn’t entirely familiar with?
Electronic logging devices are a new technology, which many drivers and fleet managers are not entirely comfortable with. They need sufficient time and several training sessions to get up to speed.
Apart from training sessions on how to operate ELDs, you also need to train your drivers and other staff members regarding the supporting documents that they will have to carry and retain.
There are no benefits whatsoever for delaying the ELD implementation process. However, there are plenty of disadvantages.
By taking action now and not delaying the ELD installation process any further, you can pick your favorite ELD vendor, research about them, confirm their compliance status, train your drivers, and acquire ELDs at better prices.
If you are looking for a reliable and compliant ELD solution, try Motive. Request a free demo today.