With less than six weeks until the Dec. 18 deadline for fleets to install mandatory electronic logging devices, one survey indicates there will be a lot of smaller fleets that are at risk for citations and fines – or who will give up on the industry altogether.
“It looks like the run up to the deadline in six weeks will be quite chaotic,” said Kevin Hill, president and founder of CarrierLists, which publishes a weekly survey of carrier readiness for the ELD mandate.
Its Nov. 3 survey of 1,900 carriers showed only 40% of fleets running five to 100 tractors are compliant already or have started the process of installing ELDs – although its two-week rolling average of 46% shows install rates are accelerating.
In early October, the survey showed only 23% of fleets operating 5 to 100 trucks had or were in the process of installing ELDs.
Those who are in a last-minute scramble to meet the deadline may find it difficult to become compliant in the short time remaining, Eric Witty with PeopleNet recently told HDT in an interview.
“It seems … there’s going to be a pretty large number of people that aren’t going to have product” come December. “With all the new vendors, maybe there’s enough supply out, there but it sure seems like there’s a lot of people still waiting. If they all wake up on Dec 5 and say, ‘I need something,’ it could be an interesting rush to figure out how to get everyone supplied. We planned ahead and ramped up production [but] I’m pretty sure we can’t handle all the demand in the market.”
The low rate of ELD adoption for smaller carriers will affect the entire industry. Some of the smallest carriers are expected to exit the industry entirely as a result of the mandate.
“Anything less than 100% adoption will likely ripple through the trucking market in a tidal wave,” Hill said. “Even at 90% compliance, it will create chaos with capacity and rates, until supply meets up with demand again.”
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