The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is quite the tennis match to watch. Since the idea of ELDs have come into the picture in the early 2000s, it's been an uphill battle of when to implement them into the trucking industry. All of the back and forth between pushing forward with the mandate and delaying it can make everyone's heads turn. However, the chances of the mandate being delayed are predicted to be unlikely, making that shift to ELDs still important to consider sooner rather than later.
In June, the Supreme Court refused to hear the Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association's (OOIDA) case against the mandate. Meanwhile in Congress, the U.S. House Appropriations committee recently urged the Department of Transportation to consider the option of delaying the mandate rule. Additionally, Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin presented the "ELD Extension Act of 2017" to the House, which would delay the mandate by two years to December 2019. That proposed legislation was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, but no further action has been taken.
Does the sense of urgency to comply with the ELD mandate go away? Not exactly. Though it is possible for the ELD mandate to be delayed, it's actually unlikely for this to occur. According to Food Logistics, the likelihood of the mandate coming to a complete stop is low, primarily due to the Supreme Court already rejecting the initial attempt to review the mandate back in June.
As time progresses and the industry is shifting into a mode of becoming paperless and more technologically efficient, ELDs will become the industry standard eventually. Being able to make that transition from paper logbooks to ELDs as soon as possible will be beneficial in the long run. Early adoption and creating an implementation plan is key when it comes to preparing your fleet for the ELD mandate:
1. Adopt early to avoid the rush.
2. Have a plan in place to install new technology and train drivers and other employees.
3. Find a reliable and certified solution.
As the current December deadline approaches, more and more ELD solutions will hit the market. Many will be fly-by-night solutions that don't meet the FMCSA's certification requirements. Other solutions will be inundated with last minute orders and you may find it hard to get the time and training you need from customer service departments. Early adoption ensures that your solution is reliable and you have the full attention of support services.