- Enforcement of the electronic logging device (ELD) went into effect Sunday.
- The mandate took effect in mid December, but enforcement was delayed until April 1.
- The regulation comes at a time when the trucking industry is facing capacity and driver shortages, and many analysts expect the ELD mandate will make shortages even worse.
The four-month grace period from implementation of the mandate to enforcement allowed most carriers adequate time to incorporate ELDs into their fleets. In fact, many large carriers were already using the devices before the mandate was even passed.
For drivers operating a truck without the required ELD, they'll be placed out of service for 10 hours, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). Those violations will count against a carrier's Safety Measurement System. "FMCSA will determine appropriate action against non-compliant motor carriers," CVSA stated.
On the regulators' side, checking ELDs for compliance may not be as straightforward as it seems. The FMCSA outlines a checklist for critical ELD functions. But the devices are made by numerous companies, from the big names like Garmin and Omnitracs to small startups, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, everything from a stand-alone device to a tablet-based one. Local inspectors checking for compliance must be familiar with all the logging device requirements and able to navigate the variety of device types.
While it's too early to assess any data on violations, enforcement of the mandate will no doubt lead to delays for carriers that haven't equipped their fleets with ELDs. The inspections themselves, even for compliant vehicles, could create delays as regulators conduct and file reports. Driver citations may also discourage truckers who've been in the business for years, further exacerbating the driver shortage.