Procrastination is a normal human response. But when it comes to migrating from AOBRDs to ELDs, waiting will only make matters worse.
Back in February of 2018, Victoria Kresge, Vice President of Dedicated Services & Logistics for NationaLease, posted a blog warning fleets that they had a very limited time frame to become fully compliant with the ELD Mandate that had gone into effect in December 2017. In that blog, she addresses the procrastination that allowed many fleets, especially smaller ones, to keep putting off installing ELDs until the last minute.
For vehicles that fell under the mandate, those that had automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRD) were subject to a grandfather clause that gave them an additional two years to replace the AOBRDs with ELDs. Now that time is closing fast … December 16, 2019 will be here before you know it, yet approximately 20 percent of fleets who have AOBRDs have yet to make the transition. It’s important to remember that the deadline falls right at the most important point of the holiday season, when making on-time deliveries is crucial.
Last week, Truckinginfo published an article on this topic and found that most large fleets are already compliant. For smaller fleets, the numbers are not quite so good. Making this transition is not simply a matter of replacing one device with another. There are differences between ELDs and AOBRDs that will require driver training as well as time to solve any glitches that may occur; so delaying until the last minute is really not an option.
The Truckinginfo article points to specific pain points that fleets need to address:
- Driver buy-in and training. Your drivers may be comfortable with the AOBRD and not so receptive to learning how to work with new technology. ELDs make drivers responsible for providing inspectors with the data they need during roadside inspections and not being familiar with the equipment could prove costly for drivers and fleets. Make driver training NOW a part of your plan.
- Back-office training. It’s not just your drivers that need to be familiar with the new technology. ELDs provide a great deal of data that fleet managers can use to optimize the fleet’s performance so they will need to learn how to interpret that data. But it’s not just managers. Technicians need to know how to recognize and fix ELD malfunctions; administrative staff needs to know how to set up driver accounts with all the required information.
- Integration with existing systems. Realizing once ELDs are installed that there are issues with things like existing routing systems could prove disastrous. Plus, if you are in industries that need to comply with specific regulations, you need to make sure the ELDs you acquire will answer those needs. There are a wide range of ELDs that are considered compliant, but not all will be the right choice for your needs so it will be necessary to do your due diligence to choose the right provider and the right system. That takes time … time you are losing if you wait.
- Time with ELD providers. Wait until the last minute and you will have to wait in line with competitors for customer support from ELD providers. The longer you wait, the closer the deadline, and the more difficult it may become to get the time and attention you need. This is especially true as the holiday season takes off.
A delay in any of the above will likely cascade to impact every other aspect. The message is clear. If you are still using your AOBRDs, you are already past the time you should have started migrating to ELDs. The phrase, “There’s no time like the present” has never been truer.
The Truckinginfo article, “Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Switch to ELDs” expands on the above and so much more. I recommend reading the whole article to determine whether your fleet is going to be ready for December 16, 2019.