ELD Phase-In Keeps Trucks on the Road: Citations Begin December 18

LDL Voice

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced recently that it will phase in the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate that takes effect on December 18, 2017. Instead of putting non-compliant trucks out of service starting on that date, inspectors will issue citations to drivers who have compliant paper log books but don’t have a valid ELD. The phase-in will continue until April 1, 2018 (CVSA.org). 

Signs of Trouble?

Despite rumors, the CVSA makes clear that this phased-in approach does not postpone or overturn the ELD mandate, nor is it a “soft” enforcement. Carriers are still encouraged to comply fully before the December 18, 2017 deadline to avoid driver and carrier citations, along with fines and points against safety records. Inspectors will document all violations on safety reports during roadside inspections, and issue penalties at their jurisdiction’s discretion. After April 1, 2018, all commercial carriers found non-compliant will have their drivers and trucks placed out of service (TruckingInfo.com).

Lessening the Pain

Recognizing that big changes can be difficult, the CVSA decided to adopt the approach they found successful with past regulatory changes, such as the cargo securement mandate back in 2004. Rather than a full, painful cutover that can put too many trucks and drivers out of service at once, this approach allows enforcement officials more time to familiarize themselves with the many electronic logging devices and configurations in use, distinguish between ELD and AOBRD functionalities, and treat those who have been compliant with log books more reasonably (TruckingInfo.com). 

The phased-in approach should make for a smoother transition, avoiding possible pitfalls:

  • Tightened Capacity. Shippers, retailers, drivers, and all stakeholders are concerned about a capacity shortfall of 3 to 5 percent once the mandate takes effect. A phased approach could mitigate this.
  • Higher Rates. Capacity shortages would likely increase spot market rates. Minimizing the shortage may keep rates down.
  • Increased Stress. Change often leads to discontent and frustration throughout the ranks. Phasing in requirements more slowly could soften the blow for the entire industry.  
  • More Procrastination. Experts hope the phase-in will encourage procrastinators to get on board, but it’s possible that they’ll procrastinate even further, regardless of the approach (Transport Topics). 

Knowledge is Power

The deadline is only months away. If you’re still not ELD compliant, and even if you are, these past blogs from the experts at LoadDelivered can help. Packed with valuable insights, they can help you better understand the mandate, choose a device, avoid headaches, and much more:

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