The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

More Than Half of Small Fleets Not ELD Compliant

November 08, 2017, by Deborah Lockridge - Also by this author

Graphs courtesy CarrierLists
Graphs courtesy CarrierLists

With less than six weeks until the Dec. 18 deadline for fleets to install mandatory electronic logging devices, one survey indicates there will be a lot of smaller fleets that are at risk for citations and fines – or who will give up on the industry altogether.

“It looks like the run up to the deadline in six weeks will be quite chaotic,” said Kevin Hill, president and founder of CarrierLists, which publishes a weekly survey of carrier readiness for the ELD mandate.

Its Nov. 3 survey of 1,900 carriers showed only 40% of fleets running five to 100 tractors are compliant already or have started the process of installing ELDs – although its two-week rolling average of 46% shows install rates are accelerating.  

In early October, the survey showed only 23% of fleets operating 5 to 100 trucks had or were in the process of installing ELDs.  

“Think about it. 30 working days left for 60% of small fleets to take action, or face fines and safety violations until April 1,” Hill said. (Drivers and fleets won’t be put out of service for not having ELDs until that date.)

Can they get there in time?

Those who are in a last-minute scramble to meet the deadline may find it difficult to become compliant in the short time remaining.

Eric Witty with PeopleNet recently told HDT in an interview, “it seems … there’s going to be a pretty large number of people that aren’t going to have product” come December. “With all the new vendors, maybe there’s enough supply out, there but it sure seems like there’s a lot of people still waiting. If they all wake up on Dec 5 and say, ‘I need something,’ it could be an interesting rush to figure out how to get everyone supplied. We planned ahead and ramped up production [but] I’m pretty sure we can’t handle all the demand in the market.”

Teletrac Navman General Manager Daren Lauda noted that his company has seen “a real spike” in customer interest in the last few months. “Customers are concerned about what enforcement will be post-Dec. 18, and worried if they are too late already, because installer networks are getting strapped – we’re hearing two- and three-week waiting times. I’ve heard of vendors refusing to give demos at this point, telling them to just look at an online webinar. I think we’re seeing a really [large]... last-minute audience trying to get their solution in place.”

In addition to installing the devices, carriers also need to implement procedures and policies, and train drivers and back-officer personnel on some of the rules specific to the ELD mandate, such as those put in place to address concerns about harassment and coercion.

Look for rates to climb

Graphs courtesy CarrierLists
Graphs courtesy CarrierLists

The low rate of ELD adoption for smaller carriers will affect the entire industry. Some of the smallest carriers are expected to exit the industry entirely as a result of the mandate.

“Anything less than 100% adoption will likely ripple through the trucking market in a tidal wave,” Hill said. “Even at 90% compliance, it will create chaos with capacity and rates, until supply meets up with demand again.”

Andrew Lockwood with 3PL Kenco Group, in an analysis of CarrierLists’ numbers, said the fact that many smaller carriers are procrastinating on obtaining ELDs “could abruptly impact pricing and capacity to close out 2017, taking full effect in Q1 2018.”

He pointed out that according to the American Trucking Associations, 97% of carriers operate fewer than 20 power units, and with over 586,000 for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, “that means that as many as 380,000 carriers aren’t ELD-ready. Given the sample size and number of carriers on file, we can say with a high degree of confidence that fewer than half of the operating carriers in the United States are ready for this change.”

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  1. 1. Tommy [ November 09, 2017 @ 04:41AM ]

    There may be a strategy to their defiance, you will see!!

  2. 2. LAW MAKER [ November 09, 2017 @ 05:30AM ]

    Do as I say not as I do
    I write these laws to take your Bread and water
    I don’t care about your income, I am in the top 1%

    Don’t take what I wrote too seriously, it was just meant to calm the masses while the ship goes down

  3. 3. Kenny Scott [ November 09, 2017 @ 05:32AM ]

    The Fmcsa just ran out 80 percent of doctors from doing dot physicals. Now they are going to wipe out the Indepentents and small fleets out of business. But their fine ATA companies will pick up the slack like Swift But wait Swift had to sell out because of their kill rate and I believe they use Elds ,so they may not be able to help, plus many of the ATA companies suffer over a 100 percent driver turnover because of their cheap pay. We have a lot of no good SOB in the industry and most are CEOs of large ATA companies. Help us Trump the ATA is our fake news🇺🇸

  4. 4. Brian [ November 09, 2017 @ 06:59AM ]

    We are all hoping that some miracle will come thru in the courts, or in the senate, or something to that effect. We all know that the ELD's are a violation of constitutional law. We all know that the government cant tax us without representation. The ATA is NOT our representation. We are all hoping that HDT will stop being corrupt by the left, and realize the voice of truckers, indicated in this very article at 97%, will start supporting the small , but massive, voice of the smaller carriers.

  5. 5. Veeesix [ November 10, 2017 @ 07:49AM ]

    2017 will go down as the worst Christmas ever when all these trucks leave the industry there will be major shortages of everything. Make sure you have lots of food before the December 18th deadline

  6. 6. Carlton [ November 11, 2017 @ 03:20PM ]

    The ATA is nothing but an enemy to small truckers and they want us out of business

  7. 7. Andy [ November 14, 2017 @ 10:23AM ]

    Let's say the FMCSA drops the mandate, will the market improve ?
    will more drivers come into the market ? Will the costs of good delivered change ? Will younger drivers enter the market ?

  8. 8. Brandy [ December 02, 2017 @ 06:21PM ]

    I travel with my husband, who just started using ELD's this week. They're unsafe. They're created by people who have never spent a day let alone a week behind the steering wheel of a rig. I hope to see a serious decision made that reverses this mandate. If not, then not just as driver's but citizens we need to protest this.


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