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The final ELD compliance scramble begins

Surveys also report a variety of negatives due to ELDs, such as reduced income.

Two industry surveys indicate that, with roughly a week to go before the April 1 full enforcement date for the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, compliance with the rule among truckers large and small is hovering roughly between 88% and 91% – with small fleets and owner-operators the main holdouts.

Per a weekly survey conducted by CarrierLists, ELD compliance rates dropped one point to 91%, while the firm’s “three-week moving average” ticked up one point to 88%.

“This compliance level has been relatively stable for the past few weeks,” noted Kevin Hill, president and founder of CarrierLists, in a statement. “If we look at the moving average over the past six weeks we remain virtually unchanged at 89%.”

He added that, based on his company’s most recent polling results in combination with other ELD compliance surveys, “it looks like roughly 10% of smaller fleets are still not compliant” with the ELD rule.

​That being said, a recent poll conducted by DAT Solutions discerned that the “vast majority” of owner-operators are ready for the ELD mandate – though many are “unhappy” with the electronic logs, which they blame for a loss of productivity, a decline in income, plus greater difficulty in locating parking for their trucks.

Furthermore, based on the responses to its survey, DAT said driver detention “remains a problem” and “shippers don't seem to be taking drivers' hours of service [HOS] into account when loading and unloading.”

DAT added that out of its survey of 645 carriers (completed in mid-March) owner-operators made up 93% of the survey respondents, who either currently operate with an ELD (81%) or have an exemption from the mandate (10%) for a compliance rate of 91%. An additional 2% plan to install ELDs before the start of the mandate's penalty phase on April 1.

Further information DAT gleaned from its poll includes:

  • Owner-operators were late to adopt ELDs: More than half (53%) of those who are running with ELDs had installed the devices only within the past three months, while another 22% have been using the devices for less than six months. “So it's fair to say that most are still getting used to the new technology,” DAT said. 
  • Detention affects 77% of truckers, on 20% of loads or more: More than 77% of the motor carriers polled reported that their drivers are being detained for more than two hours on at least one out of five loads. They observed that shippers are not taking the drivers' HOS into account when loading and unloading. 
  • Truckers with ELDs drive fewer miles, make less money: Of those who use ELDs, 67% report they are driving fewer miles, with another 71% saying they are making less money after installing the devices. In terms of locating parking, 26% said it was “harder” to find parking, and 61% said it was “much harder,” since the mandate took effect.
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