With the final ELD compliance deadline nearing, some carriers still have reservations about making the switch.

Tom Bray - J. J. Keller Industry Consultant

August 16 , 2019

Motor carriers must make the transition from AOBRDs to ELDs by December 16th, 2019. But many of them are dragging their feet. There are a few reasons why:


Roadside inspection fears

With AOBRDs, drivers only had to display or print a list of their duty status changes. With ELDs however, the driver must able to send complete logs directly to an officer using one of two methods: telematics or local transfer, as well as being able to display or print them. Making this change and navigating the ELD application during a roadside inspection could be the most challenging difference for most drivers.

Bad experiences of other carriers

Drivers talk, and carriers listen. If they hear horror stories about fleets who have transitioned to ELDs, they are not going to make the transition until they hear differently.  Many are afraid of jumping out of the proverbial pot into the fire and they are looking for a good word from other drivers and fleets in the industry.  Many fleets have faced numerous ELog mandate application and hardware issues, from installation and compatibility challenges to improperly recorded hours of service and a complete lack of technical support. Additionally, time and resources are required for a smooth transition to ELDs as there are regulatory differences that will impact operations.

Not wanting to be a test case for a vendor’s ELD version

Electronic logging devices must meet the definitions outlined in Appendix A to Subpart B of Part 395 and that is a tall order. With over 100 pages of technical requirements many ELog providers are finding it challenging to comply with the rules and provide the integrations and service offerings that they have with AOBRDs. Considering the possible negative impacts if there are glitches and inaccuracies with a system, carriers are resistant to be a provider’s guinea pig.

Administrative disruption

Fleet professionals who have done their homework on the mandate know they are going to have to adjust their back office practices, in addition to training their drivers on new responsibilities (like editing their logs). While not as painful as the transition from paper logs to AOBRDs, the transition challenges will be in direct disproportion to the preparation: the more preparation you do, the less challenges and surprises you will have to your operation, drivers and customers.

Driver comfort with existing AOBRDs

Change is hard, and drivers are just now getting used to their ELogs. They know how to click through the app quickly, change their duty status, get through roadside inspections, and conduct electronic inspections. You can hear the groans of drivers already when they are told, “We are switching to ELDs.”

They don’t know they don’t have ELDs

Some fleets don’t know they are using AOBRDs and are not compliant with the mandate. If you don’t know what system you have, visit www.JJKeller.com/verify to schedule a quick compliance check with one of our specialists. With 6 questions, we can help you determine if you are mandate compliant.

A belief that the mandate will be delayed

Not unexpected, yet many fleets and drivers are hoping for a delay in the final deadline. Most experts don't believe this will be the case.

Whatever the reason for waiting, it's not advised. There is still time to make an ELD transition plan and conduct training that will minimize the impact to your operation. Consider using our 2019 Hours of Service Blueprint to guide you through the move to ELDs.


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