New court ruling supports ELD mandate

Posted by Harriet Mills on Nov 4, 2016 9:15:00 AM

The ELD mandate has been one of the most discussed topics of the last year. Although aimed at trucking companies, the ripple effect could impact the entire transportation industry in countless ways. Of course with any major change, viewpoints vary greatly, with some fully supporting the mandate and others questioning its authenticity.

This variety of opinion is one of the reasons why many carriers were taking a wait-and-see approach. Rather than getting a head start on the mandate by implementing electronic logging devices in vehicles now, the majority of trucking organizations were opting to wait until the deadline draws much closer. Many wanted more details, and some were hoping the mandate would get struck down altogether. 

However, last week the ELD mandate was upheld in court. According to UBS research company:

"On Monday October 31st, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a ruling upholding the final rule on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). The court determined that the concerns (e.g., driver harassment, confidentiality, and the efficacy of ELDs) identified by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) were not sufficient to warrant vacating the ELD mandate. We view the 7th Circuit's ruling as a significant win for the trucking industry as it provides visibility to capacity reductions we expect to result from the implementation of the Electronic Logging Device mandate, which takes place on December 18th, 2017. We believe that the magnitude of capacity reduction is on the order of 3–4% from implementation of ELDs."

Will there be an appeal? Will the OOIDA now pursue a different angle rather than just the violation of a driver's 4th Amendment rights? Only time will tell, but it appears this mandate is likely going to stick. Some carriers may be exchanging the wait-and see approach for an action-oriented one with eyes focused on the future.

So what do we know? As of now, carriers have until December 18, 2017, to implement ELDs throughout their fleet for all vehicles year 2000 or newer. There is an exemption for pre-2000 year-model trucks, so good drivers can operate those vehicles without an ELD. Depending on developments over the next year, some industry experts predict there may be a more gradual implementation pace for smaller carrier companies whose main concerns are funding the cost of the new systems. Pace of enforcement remains up in the air. 

Before this ruling, the majority of our readers were opting to wait. With the court's clear decision enforcing the ELD mandate, does this change your mind? Will you start exploring the steps and begin implementation, or will you continue to wait and see if the mandate evolves?

Tags: ELDs