Trucking companies nationwide have implemented the new electronic logging device (ELD) requirements. As with almost all technology changes, ELD implementation has had some hiccups. From training personnel to using paperless and issues with the software and technology itself, companies are struggling to implement the new ELD requirements. Here’s what you need to know about common ELD implementation problems – and what you can do about it.
Most Common ELD Problems
Since the FMCSA passed the regulations in late 2017, trucking companies have been scrambling to meet the mandate. While federal regulators have their reasons for passing the rule – citing house of service and repeated log violations – the implementation process itself has been less than smooth.
The American Trucking Industry did and continues to support the new rule, believing it will improve the safety of their truckers and others on the road. Other organizations, like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, remain opposed. One of the biggest potential issues is that digital tracking devices do not account for delays that drivers might experience in traffic or at loading docks. Some also complain that ELDs are an invasion of privacy. Others have gone so far to say that they would rather leave the industry than comply – which could prove disastrous for an industry that’s already facing a shortage.
Some of the biggest problems, however, were practical. Truckers and their companies are struggling to figure out their devices and many are running into technical problems. The customer support lines have been inundated with calls since the ELD rule went into effect. Trucking companies complain that this affects their entire operation – an industry where the line “time is money” takes on new meaning.
Police officers can cite motor carriers who aren’t using their ELDs properly, but they can’t bar them from driving until April 1, according the agency responsible for enforcing the mandate.
What You Can Do
Repeated citations for ELD misuse could prove to be a detriment to entire trucking organizations, not just individual owners and operators. Fortunately, there are several options that you can try:
- Apply for a waiver. Due to the number of issues since the ELD mandate went into effect, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is allowing companies to apply for a waiver that extends the implementation process for integrating the system with their fleets. This is perhaps the best immediate form of relief for trucking companies that are struggling.
- Use paper logs as a stop gap. While you’re experiencing issues with your ELD, continue using paper logs as normal so you can produce them at the request of an officer.
- Enhance training for personnel. Hold mandatory training for your fleet and teach them how to use their ELDs. Address common troubleshooting issues and tell them who to call for further assistance.
While the ELD mandates may not be rolling out smoothly, they’re also not going anywhere. Companies who continue to struggle should reach out for help and apply for a waiver that will shield them from unnecessary penalties during the implementation process.