In recent surveys, owner-operators are slowly becoming more comfortable with the idea of electronic logging devices (ELDs) in their trucks but are still waiting to comply with the new ELD mandates. Some are waiting for the settlement of a lawsuit by Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), while others are waiting for the deadline to get closer.
For owner-operators who aren’t already using some type of ELD, you have until December 2017 to find one. If you do have an ELD system, you have until December 2019 to make sure it’s an engine-connected, certified ELD system.
Waiting until the December 2017 isn’t a good idea. Here’s why.
Choosing an ELD Takes Time
Whether you go with a basic ELD system or you look for a fleet management system, like Gorilla Safety, this isn’t a quick process. More companies are offering ELD products which means you have more companies to talk to, get quotes from, and research. Once you find the ELD you think you want, you have to test it and try a demo. Then you have to install it, learn how to use it, and if you have another driver or two working for you, you have to train them.
All of these things take time. If you wait until the deadline, you’ll be scrambling to install and learn new technology in the middle of trying to run your business and stay in compliance with the law. Worst of all, if you rush your decision, you may choose a company or ELD that you hate. Think about all the wasted money of paying for one ELD, finding out you hate it, and spending money for a new one – or worse, being stuck with it because you can’t afford to make the switch.
Supplies Could Dwindle Just Before the Deadline
You aren’t the only owner-operator waiting until the December 2017 deadline is closer. When everyone who’s waiting floods the ELD market, suppliers may not be able to keep up with demand. You’ll be the one left on a waiting list a mile long. You may not have your ELD in time for the mandated deadline. That will halt your business in its tracks.
Shippers Are Nervous About Non-Compliance
Some shippers prefer working with owner-operators like you, but they also want to know you’re in compliance with the laws and ready to be on the road. As shippers have seen that owner-operators are delaying the implementation of the ELDs, they’re taking their business elsewhere. Swift, who’s had ELDs in their trucks since 2011, has been picking up business in part from shippers who want to know they’ll still be moving product when the deadline hits.
Still unsure of what you want to do? At least start researching ELD manufacturers now so that you can get an idea of what’s out there and what the cost will be. Some products are strictly an ELD with little else, and other systems, like Gorilla Safety, are an entire fleet management system designed to make your job and your life easier, especially if you’ve got more than one truck to worry about.
Don’t wait until late 2017 to start the process. Contact us today to learn more about what we can offer.