June 26th, 2019 at the summer’s must-attend supply chain gathering, SMC3 Connections 2019 Conference, FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez spoke to the crowd in regards to the 2019 ELD Deadline.
"Truck drivers using automated onboard recording devices, or AOBRDs, to track driver hours of service (HOS) should replace them with electronic logging devices (ELDs) now, not at the final deadline in December. It’s important to prepare for this transition now, and I mean now, not in October, November, or December,” Martinez said.
Older AOBRDs grandfathered under the ELD mandate introduced in December 2017 must be replaced by ELDs by Dec. 16, 2019. That likely means replacing tens of thousands of older recording devices still running in US truck cabs, as well as software.
For months, truck telematics and ELD vendors have been warning that a delay in replacing AOBRDs could lead to a truck capacity shortage this winter, much like how truck capacity contracted in the immediate aftermath of the ELD mandate in January 2018. That raises the pre-holiday stakes for retail and food shippers using trucking companies logging hours with AOBRDs.
What New England Mobile is seeing is that carriers are still waiting to pull that switch between AOBRD and ELD, which is scary. If they pull that switch and their supplier is not up to speed, they’re on the hook. Our concern is suppliers may not have enough ELDs available to meet demand if AOBRD user are waiting until the last moment.
It works against the carrier if they wait until the 11th hour to make the switch. There’s such a benefit for those early adopters. They have time to build a training program, put in new policies, and give the driver access to the technology. The switch will require changes not just to in-cab equipment, but also to the software used to manage truck driver hours.