The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in December 2017 upended the freight markets by the capacity of its crunch. The new milestone, which begins in December 2019, expands regulation in two dramatic ways and it may end up being just as disruptive.
Switch from AOBRD’s
The Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) will no longer be deployed by the drivers since the new ELD requirement becomes more stringent. Fleets will no longer be allowed to deploy the AOBRDs that were implemented for the first two years of the ELD mandate.
Carriers with AOBRDs were once considered compliant, but come December 2019, they will need to switch. The biggest difference is that devices that are “intrinsically integrated” must be included by the ELDs into the truck’s operating system.
Cell phone apps that did not plug in are soon going to become non-compliant, including many of the legacy systems from companies we all think of as the dominant players in the industry.
It is estimated that more than 50% of the 3.5+ million Class 8 trucks now in commercial use will be required to replace or significantly upgrade the ELD system they are currently using. Driver behavior and fleet operation could be under some major changes due to the new ELD mandate.
Every truck in commercial use is included
Every truck in commercial use, not just Class 8 semi-trailers, has always been included by the ELD mandate. Class 3 through Class 7 are also covered, including FedEx, UPS, and Amazon delivery trucks. Also, local utility and plumbing contractor’s trucks are included in the equation.
According to the current mandate, if a delivery driver maintains an electronic log, it is almost always on a cell phone or other device that is not intrinsically integrated. But, with the new ELD mandate, if and when they travel 100 miles or more from their home terminal, they’ll all need to have an ELD device that meets the more stringent requirement of being intrinsically integrated into the truck’s operating system.
Currently, there are more than 3.7 million of these truck in commercial operation. It is estimated that more than 60% of them will need to install a compliant ELD. Otherwise, drivers who do not comply to the new ELD mandate are at risk of being fined whenever they travel more than a couple of hours from home.
Is the new capacity crisis possible?
When the first ELD mandate occurred, back in 2017, there was a full-on panic in the industry. But, as it turned out, no lasting impact was made. The first mandate was well publicized, therefore, the industry had enough time to prepare for it.
However, some disruption came along in 2018 and had a short-term impact on rates. Come the third quarter of the same year, most fleets had adapted to the new technology and the end result was not as dramatic as expected.
Following the new mandate expected to begin this December, even larger population of trucks will be under its influence. Improved technology will eventually lead to an even more efficient workplace. However, there is still one very big problem. A surprisingly large percentage of the industry is unaware of the looming changes in ELD requirements.