December 18, 2017 has come and gone and the ELD Mandate is now in effect. So most trucks are compliant – right? Think again.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself speechless when I spoke with a local official I know who informed me that, out of the 14 inspections he or his team had conducted the prior week (well after the compliance date had passed), not one vehicle was equipped with an ELD! Not one!
Right now and until April 1, 2018, if you or your drivers are non-compliant and running without an ELD, you are residing in a sort of ELD Purgatory, betwixt and between where you’re given a partial pass vs. where you’ll be in a real problem area. If you or your drivers are cited for non-compliance, no points will be cited to the SMS scores, which as you know feed into CSA scores. You will simply receive a ticket and be saddled with a fine, which may or may not be relatively low. In addition, drivers will not be put out of service up to and until the April 1 date. However, if you are a company that is continually cited, you could be federally investigated
This slight reprieve in the enforcement of out-of-service ruling, according to CVSA, “will provide the motor carrier industry, shippers and roadside enforcement community with time to adjust to the new requirement before vehicles are placed out of service for ELD violations.” This has been the practice of the CVSA when it comes to handling enforcement of trucking regulations in the past.
But don’t breathe a sigh of relief. Let me remind you that this is February 1, 2018 and you have less than 60 days before things get ugly. Remember back in August of last year when too many fleets and OOD’s thought, “Oh, I still have five months to make sure I’m running ELD-compliant. No problem” Well, that time passed and this will too. I really can’t stress strongly enough why you should do whatever is necessary to ensure you are ready by April 1, because here is what will happen after that date if you are found to be running without an ELD:
- You will be fined and those fines can be substantial, up to the thousands of dollars per violation
- You will be put out of service and that out-of-service situation could last for a significant number of hours
- You and/or your companies’ SMS scores will be affected
I can’t say it any plainer than this…if you haven’t made your fleet or your vehicle ELD-compliant, you have no longer any time to waste. FIX IT NOW!