A recent survey conducted by CarrierLists showed that regional carriers have been slow to comply with the ELD mandate. As of January 15, results of the weekly poll revealed that “ELD compliance rates for regional fleets are still roughly 20 points below longer haul OTR (over-the-road) fleets.”

The rise and fall of ELD adoption rates

The regional fleets’ slow compliance with the ELD mandate largely caused the overall compliance rate to drop.

After staying between 70 and 75 percent in November and December last year, ELD mandate compliance rose to 90.5 percent in the first week of January, according to the survey. The rate, however, dropped to 89 percent during the second week of the month before slipping to 79 percent (a decrease of 10 points) last week.

The good news though is that, according to the survey, the three-week average went above 80 percent for the first time as it reached 82 percent.

On the other hand, a Bloomberg/Truckstop Quarterly Truckload Survey conducted by Truckstop.com and Bloomberg found that 28 percent of truckers have yet to adopt a compliant ELD solution.

The result represents an increase from the third quarter’s survey, where 76 percent of the trucking market had yet to implement an ELD.

In spite of the progress, 28 percent is a considerable number since it means that of the estimated 3.1 million truckers who must comply with the ELD mandate, more than 860,000 drivers on the road are still without a compliant ELD.

Among the survey’s respondents, 67 percent had five or fewer trucks while 83 percent had twenty or less.

CarrierLists President Kevin Hill said in an interview, “We’ve expected a little fluctuation, mostly because of the mix of lanes we survey.”

Hill, however, told that last week’s survey of 205 motor carriers continued to underscore an ongoing trend, i.e., the ELD compliance rates for regional fleets are still roughly 20 points below long-haul fleets.

Hill added: “We’re talking about (regional) guys with lengths of haul between 300 and 500 miles; they are the ones 20 points below (the compliance rates) of the super-regional and national carriers.”

Hill also attributed the low level of adoption to several factors. According to him, many regional fleets have ELD equipment on back order and are still getting their personnel trained on the proper use of the device.

Hill said that “driver training on ELDs for the procrastinators is problematic and is causing disruptions with pickup and deliveries times.”

He also said that many fleets are continuing to delay ELD adoption until the so-called “soft” enforcement period of the ELD rule ends on April 1, which is when enormous penalties for noncompliance would be imposed.

Enforcement seems to be lenient right now as everyone keeps figuring all of this out. There have been a few citations but no major fines that we know of.”

Hill believes that the “soft” enforcement of the ELD mandate may also be a big contributing factor to why regional fleets are delaying their use of ELDs.

If you are operating on the same lanes in, say, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, you probably know all the inspectors and know what they’ll allow and what they won’t,” Hill said. “But if you’re heading into the Northeast or to California on an irregular basis, like the long-haul fleets do, you don’t know what to expect. There’s much more (ELD) enforcement risk with them.”

Loading and unloading times

Hill further added that over the last two weeks, trucking companies have been asking about loading and unloading times much earlier during negotiations with shippers to determine which loads to accept.

Shippers, especially the smaller ones, are being caught by surprise,” he said.

There’s no slack in the system anymore. And the smaller ones tend to sometimes be more disorganized. Sometimes they can have a bad day, and it takes four or five hours to get a guy unloaded.”

What’s next?

Regional fleets are slow to comply with the ELD mandate — probably because of the so-called “soft” enforcement period that will end on April 1, 2018.

After that deadline, ELD violations would lead to severe penalties, including out-of-service criteria enforcement and negatively affecting a carrier’s CSA scores.

If you are looking for a reliable and compliant ELD solution, try Motive. Request a free ELD demo today.

Call 844-325-9230 if you have any questions.