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Analyst: Foot-Dragging on US ELD Upgrade Continues

Up to half of the 3.5 million heavy-duty trucks in the US lack the required ELD equipment and are waiting until the last minute to upgrade, says one market analyst.

“We estimate that more than 50 percent of the 3.5 million Class 8 trucks will be required to replace or upgrade the ELD system they are using,” said Donald Broughton, principal and managing partner of Broughton Capital.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in December 2017 required ELD digital monitoring to track drivers’ hours of service.

However, authorities have allowed carriers to continue using older, Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) until Dec. 16, at which point they must switch to fully-functioning ELDs.

Safety inspectors can order a non ELD-compliant truck out of service after that date.

As reported by Trucks.com:

A simple software upgrade is all some of the pre-ELD devices need for full functionality. But many trucks need new ELDs systems that integrate into engine controls.

“It could be a bigger disruption than December 2017 because people are not planning at this point,” Broughton told Trucks.com.

Productivity could dip, as it did for several months after the original ELD mandate, depending on how many companies try to upgrade at once.

Others think the trucking industry will adjust quickly.

“I don’t think there’s going to be much drama,” said Kevin Hill, president of CarrierLists, which polled the 259 carriers in its database on migrating to ELDs. Many carriers indicate they will use the same vendor, he said.

The FMCSA and suppliers are urging trucking companies to beat the Dec. 16 deadline.

“This date is not going to move,” said Tom Cuthbertson, Omnitracs’ vice president of regulatory affairs.

Full story here.

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