Written by Casey Bullard
Did you see the recent Overdrive Magazine article ‘Bill to delay ELD mandate Two years filed in House‘ about a new Bill that’s been introduced to Congress? Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin filed the ELD Extension Act of 2017, which would delay ELD enforcement by two years, until December of 2019.
Sounds great right – let’s consider a few details.
Will the Bill Pass?
This Bill has been introduced to the House, and it must pass through both the House and Senate, before President Trump could sign it into law. A lot can change within a Bill between introduction and approval. There’s already talk of lumping this Bill in with other DOT Bills now in the works, which can only complicate this already complicated matter even further.
So will it pass?? It certainly could, but there’s no guarantee that it will. And that leaves the truck driver in the same sort of limbo they were in with OOIDA Supreme Court petition. Wondering if this Bill is going to impact them or not – and when (not to mention IF) they need to comply with the ELD Mandate.
For me the question has never been about WHEN to comply. The question is what MORE can I get from this device other than just compliance? It’s all about the return on my investment. Getting new devices into the trucks, and training the drivers to use them is a big investment, so I expect a big return.
Let’s take a moment here to think about everything the ELD can do, in addition to making a driver compliant with the ELD mandate. Depending on the model you choose, the ELD can:
Improve MPG by highlighting spikes in usage and the cause for that spike.
Improve safety by monitoring incidents like sudden breaking, seatbelt usage, and sharp cornering, then providing reports back to management
Improve maintenance, by giving management key warnings early, rather than waiting for a driver to report them.
Allow management to track drivers in real time, and even set delivery notifications for customers
Provide many reports including IFTA miles (and in some cases fuel) for IFTA and IRP without relying on the driver
Recreate accidents from ECM Data and assign fault accurately.
For me, the first two on this list are enough to pay for the device, and then some. Everything else is extra. That’s a big return on an investment.
Better Safe than Sorry?
What if I waited to get an ELD until I KNEW when enforcement would begin? First of all, the way things keep popping up, we may not know when enforcement is really going to begin until it’s here!
So what’s my ROI if I wait? Saving the cost of the device, and the cost of instillation is just about it. But the risks of not being compliant on time are a whole other question.
Personally, I’m not a big risk taker. I would rather be safe than sorry – especially when I can also take advantage of some of those benefits listed above instead of risking anything. Come December this year, there’s already going to be enough confusion:
Is this really the enforcement date?
What constitutes a violation?
What are the penalties going to be?
Who has until 2019 because they were grandfathered in and who doesn’t, and how do I prove it at roadside?
How does a driver share their logs with enforcement?
How does enforcement check logs?
Not to mention everything else an offer checks for on an enforcement stop
The list goes on and on those are just the obvious questions. That’s a lot of risk.
So, personally, I don’t need my drivers adding to that confusion. I want my drivers trained and ready for the inevitable enforcement stop. They should be able to say, “Here’s my ELD, I’m within my HOS, how can I send you the data?”
What will you decide?
Find us on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below and let us know how you will decide when to comply. We know everyone would rather not HAVE to comply, that goes without saying! But we want to know how you will decide.