The Final Phase of the ELD Mandate

The final phase of the ELD mandate is quickly approaching.  By December 17th, all trucks still using Automatic On Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) are required to make the switch.

The biggest question is, will we see the same effect on rates that be saw previously? The final phase of the switchover could potentially lead to lower productivity and higher rates.  In 2017 we saw a reduced capacity with led to higher rates and they stayed high all throughout 2018.

There are still millions of trucks that have not made the switch.  Analysts estimate about 40% of Class 8 trucks still need to replace or upgrade the systems.  For many, it is just a simple software update, but for others it could involve installing new hardware.  Donald Broughton, transportation financial analyst said, “Some AOBRDs were cell phone apps that didn’t plug in, and those will soon be non-compliant, including many of the legacy systems from companies we all think of as the dominant players in the industry.”

One of the most important things with the switchover is making sure drivers get the proper training to avoid hits to their CSA scores.  Vice President of Risk Services for Reliance Partners and a former FMCSA investigator, John Seidl said, “We could see a reduction in capacity due to shippers and 3PLs who impose a firm CSA threshold for carriers,” said Seidl, who previously worked as an FMCSA inspector and served on the National ELD Implementation Team. Seidl said these are areas drivers will need to watch out for:

  • Understanding how to properly transfer the data file to the roadside inspector.
  • Proper use of personal conveyance and yard moves.
  • Retaining required ELD paperwork in the cab of the truck.

One big change with the ELD and paperwork, is that drivers must always be in possession of the ELD manual, instruction card, and directions for transferring the data file and handling malfunctions, according to Seidl.  Drivers will be penalized up to three CSA points, one for each missing document.  This is a change from the AOBRD rules of one point.

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MPCO Carriers, Inc. provides domestic freight transportation services throughout North America.


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