Members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) are asserting that the implementation date of the ELD mandate on December 18 is pretty much set in stone.

According to Collin Mooney, the Executive Director of the CVSA, “It’s almost negligible at this point that [the ELD mandate] will be delayed.”

Because they are responsible for the enforcement of the mandate, the CVSA is currently doubling its efforts in ensuring that safety inspectors are well-prepared for the compliance deadline. About 13,000 Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) safety inspectors will be having their ELD mandate enforcement training around late October or early November this year.

Mooney recently mentioned that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would be implementing a “train-the-trainer format” for the upcoming training.

It means that the roadside inspectors who would be receiving the FMCSA’s training face-to-face would be tasked with passing on the knowledge to their fellow enforcers who are stationed at their respective jurisdictions.

Other activities such as online training materials and planned events are also made available by the FMCSA to help drivers with their transition to ELD use and compliance.

According to Duane DeBruyne, the FMCSA’s spokesperson, all activities that were established by the FMCSA were meant to help the trucking industry prepare for the upcoming deadline.

Also, given that the ELD mandate’s final ruling was published in December 2015, carriers and owner-operators had nearly two years to transition and prepare for the upcoming implementation deadline.

Nobody can say they didn’t know this day was coming,” said DeBruyne.

Selecting an ELD provider

ELDs are connected to the CMV’s engine control module. These devices capture and record the required vehicle information and driving time. The primary purpose of introducing the ELD mandate is to enforce the Hours of Service regulations by the FMCSA and increase road safety.

The Hours of Service (HOS) rules allow most truck drivers to operate for a maximum duration of 11 hours per day. The American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates that there are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers who are actively operating today.

However, a recent report by IBISWorld noted that many of these drivers operate CMVs that are not equipped with electronic logs. According to the report, one of the main reasons why a lot of operators haven’t transitioned yet to ELDs is because most of the devices are too expensive for them.

We have previously written an article about this. If you want to read more about what owner-operators should do instead of buying expensive ELD solutions, read A New Report Suggests that Most ELDs are Too Expensive for Owner-Operators

In response, the Total Quality Logistics (TQL), the country’s second largest freight brokerage firm based in Cincinnati, offered a 20% discount to its network of over 60,000 motor carriers in case they decided to choose Motive as their ELD provider.

Kerry Byrne, the President of TQL, noted that one of the reasons the firm decided to provide the discount was to help fleet owners who are having a hard time finding and selecting the right providers.

According to Byrne:

Carriers who haven’t yet selected an ELD provider should start taking a hard look at their options ASAP. From technology integration to new operational constraints, the ELD learning curve will certainly have a significant impact on all carriers.”

We also just recently published a post about this: Motive and TQL partner to offer discounted ELDs

There are currently over 100 ELD providers who have had their products self-certified on the FMCSA’s official website. This is a considerable improvement compared to the limited number of providers (only 15 ELD vendors) registered in November 2016.

As mentioned by DeBruyne, ELD providers whose electronic logging devices meet the FMCSA’s technical requirements will be “placed on the self-certified list.”

As of this writing, the FMCSA has not revoked any of the self-certified devices due to them not meeting their technical requirements, nor have the agency received any complaints that were filed by the public.

However, it is true that not all devices on the FMCSA’s list of self-certified ELDs are 100% compliant.

Consequences of non-compliance

According to the CVSA, truckers who fail to comply with the ELD mandate’s requirements after the deadline would not be placed out-of-service right away.

Instead, the CVSA decided to give truck drivers some leeway by extending the enforcement of the out-of-service criteria (OOSC) to April 1, 2018.

According to a recent announcement by the CVSA:

[The OOSC delay] will provide the motor carrier industry, shippers, and roadside enforcement community with time to adjust to the new requirement before vehicles are placed out of service for ELD violations.”

In spite of the extension, noncompliant drivers could still face a number of consequences.

As what DeBruyne recently explained:

After Dec. 18, 2017, if you don’t have an AOBRD or ELD the violation will be cited, and a driver could be fined, but they won’t be put out of service. Companies that continually violate the rule could be subject to federal investigation as well.”

Mooney mentioned that drivers who are found to be noncompliant with the ELD rule during roadside inspections could be slapped with violation points against their safety score, which is based on the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

Also, after the implementation deadline, drivers caught operating without ELDs in their trucks could face fines that vary across states.

According to some state enforcement officials, Missouri has set its fine for not complying with the ELD mandate at $172, Delaware has set its fine at $110, and Colorado’s is at $67.

Attempts to delay or repeal the ELD mandate

With only less than three months left for the ELD compliance deadline, the ELD mandate has survived multiple attempts by trucking groups, lawmakers, and associations to have it either delayed or repealed.

In a last-minute effort to have the deadline of the ELD mandate extended, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) urged its members to support the “H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017” introduced by Representative Brian Babin on July 18, 2017.

By amending the words that were used in 49 U.S.C. § 31137(b)(1)(C), the bill seeks to extend the implementation deadline of the ELD rule for two more years — delaying it until December 2019. However, not much has happened since the bill was with the House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on July 18.

There have also been three other previous attempts by the OOIDA to delay the ELD mandate’s enforcement.

One of which was a proposal that was introduced by Babin to have the 2018 House Appropriations Bill amended so that it would restrict the FMCSA’s funds for the ELD mandate’s enforcement up until September 30, 2018.

This proposal failed as Congress voted 246-173 against the amendment.

Earlier in June, the Supreme Court chose to reject a petition made by OOIDA for a rehearing that is aimed against the ELD mandate. Also, in October 2016, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the OOIDA’s petition to have the ELD mandate repealed on the grounds that it violated driver privacy rights.

The ATA strongly supports the ELD mandate and disagrees with any attempts made by opponents to delay its implementation deadline.

In a letter previously written to the FMCSA’s Deputy Administrator, Daphne Jefferson, ATA’s Executive Vice President of Advocacy, Bill Sullivan, said:

Supporters of a delay are attempting to accomplish, almost at the 11th hour, what they’ve been unable to do in the courts, Congress or with the agency: roll back this common sense, data-supported regulation based on at best specious and at worst outright dishonest arguments.”

Sullivan went on to elaborate the ATA’s stand by saying:

At the end of the day, I believe the implicit reason opponents of electronic logging oppose this regulation is because they intend to cheat on their hours-of-service.…Arguments against the ELD mandate are arguments in favor of violating the hours-of-service rules.…Suggesting that it is overly burdensome to use an electronic device to log compliance with hours-of-service rules that don’t change whatsoever in December is a false argument.”

What’s next?

The implementation of the ELD mandate is expected to greatly improve the country’s road and highway safety in the months to come. By keeping fatigued drivers off the road, the FMCSA estimates that the devices would help prevent 562 injuries and 1,844 crashes annually and would also save 26 lives each year.

There are only a few more weeks left before the ELD mandate would take effect.

If you are still using paper logs to comply with the HOS requirements, allow us to help you become ELD mandate compliant.

Try Motive

Request a free demo today. And if you have any questions, call 844-325-9230 for more information.