ELD Mandate Question: “What Will Happen If I Don’t Run An ELD?”

Many fleets and owner operators in particular may be wondering “What Will Happen If I Don’t Run An ELD?” The bottom line: “One strike, you’re out!”

That’s what former FMCSA administrator Annette Sandberg says truck drivers and carriers should anticipate as penalty for driving without an ELD in the United States after December 18th 2017.

We don’t know for sure what the FSCMA has in store for ELD Final Rule penalization, and the Canadian mandate is fuzzier still. But if you’re wondering, “What would happen if I didn’t run an ELD?”, consider these points:

  1. Grandfathered AOBRDs are OK to use (for now).

Most AOBRD devices installed prior to the 18th of December, 2017 will be compliant with the ELD Final Rule during the Phased-In Compliance window (December 18th, 2017 and December 16th 2019). So if you use AOBRD now and need more time to make the switch over to ELD, you’ve got some breathing room.

Summary: if you’re running AOBRD now, you are not legally required to run an ELD until December 16th, 2019.

  1. Enforcement will change even if you don’t.

Mandatory ELDs will impact inspection procedures, and while this could take some time for enforcement get used to, the changes in hours of service violations will continue to be upheld by the law. During this period of adjustment, the biggest hours of service violation at roadside inspections will likely be “failing to have a device card and blank paper log book in the cab as required by the regulation,” says one former enforcement officer to Trucking Info.

One way or another, enforcement take immediate action on drivers and carriers who do not meet the new regulation requirements after the Phased-In Compliance phase begins.  

Summary: new legislation does not necessarily equal disorganized or lack of enforcement. There may be a learning curve for officers on the technology side, but hours of service violations will continue to be handled seriously.

  1. No ELD or AOBRD? Prepare for shutdowns.

Sandberg predicts shutdowns, either temporary or more severe, for carriers that do not comply with the ELD Final Rule after December 18th, 2017.

Summary: Shutdowns are expensive and complicated. Avoiding the possibility of shutdowns due to ELD mandate compliance is as easy as upgrading your current AOBRD or enlisting an affordable ELD solution.

Conclusion: “What will happen if I don’t run an ELD?” – don’t wait to find out.

ELDs are a win-win for truck drivers and carriers, so why wait? As the Canadian Trucking Alliance notes, the United States’ FMSCA estimates a net benefit of $800 million, reflecting $2.7 billion in benefits versus $1.9 billion in cost.

From improved road safety to improved on-shift mileage with automated hours of service record keeping, the benefits of ELD for truck fleets are going to be felt by consumers, other drivers on the road and the industry in general.

Don’t wait to experience the pain of penalties that could lock your business out and cost you thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Start researching ELD solutions now. You’ve come to a great place to start.


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