In the latest turn of events, the Department of Transportation released a report this week noting that the Final Rule to require truck operators to use ELDs has been delayed one month. The rule is now expected to be released on Oct. 26 and then published Oct. 30. As the rule is sitting with the White House Office of Management and Budget as part of the required approval process, we anticipate that this delay is related to the need to carefully review the rule given the complexity and implications of the mandate. The FMCSA’s corresponding prohibition of driver coercion rule, which is related to the mandate, is expected to follow the same schedule.
Once the rule is cleared, it will take effect two years after its publication and essentially establishing the date that all fleets, owner-operators and drivers must begin using ELDs in order to remain in compliance with the regulation. Given this holding pattern that the industry finds itself in, there are still things that fleets can do to get ahead of the mandate: becoming an early adopter should be the first priority. Fleets that choose to adopt the technology now can avoid the forced rush of implementation in order to just comply. Additionally, doing so ahead of schedule allows your fleet to “test drive” solutions and start realizing benefits that go far beyond compliance including efficiency improvements, time savings and cost reductions.
Unfortunately, some fleets will learn that in choosing non-compliance, HOS fines can add up fast and kill profits. If you’re skeptical regarding just how much fines really impact the bottom line, head over to our new clock on ELDfacts.com. This ticker shows the dollar amount of HOS violations and penalties collected in real time. It’s fascinating to see what other fleet necessities this money could be spent on—things like fuel or driver salaries—had the fines been avoided.
In light of all of the recent changes, the Omnitracs team remains a vocal proponent of ELDs and preparing your fleet in advance. Those who do will be ahead of the curve and enjoy the benefits of a more efficient and compliant fleet.