"Psst, hey trucker: I've got a compliant ELD for you." While we've yet to hear of shadowy characters in a dark corner of the truck stop parking lot peddling bogus compliance tools, the possibility certainly exists: How far should you trust self-certified electronic logging device (ELD) vendors in their claim their products are compliant?
ELD companies have been able to register and self-certify their products as meeting the requirements of the ELD mandate since Feb. 16. So far, though, only a handful have registered, and the head of marketing at one ELD provider says he's already hearing about this from customers.
"People check out our product and you'll hear, 'Okay, looks great, but I'm not going to buy you until you're on the list,'" says Jon Sockell of KeepTruckin, one of the newer ELD players in the market. "All right, so does that mean they're going to go buy from someone on the list?"
There's been talk among the some ELD vendors of being first out of the gate, essentially, to certify that their products meet the guidelines. But two-and-a half months after early bird bragging rights have been available, there are only three devices registered on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) list — and where are all the well-established providers of electronic logging-type devices with their stuff?
Dotting their i's and crossing their t's, essentially—making sure the devices they market meet the requirements of the ELD mandate. That doesn't mean that unknown brands early on the list are making false claims, only that, when it comes to a choosing a tool to meet federal regulations, it's very much a matter of "buyer beware.'
"Because this is a self-certified process, you the buyer need to take some responsibility to conduct due diligence with any vendor," Sockell advises. "You'll want to come in with some of these questions."
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