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Supreme Court Upholds ELD Ruling: All Eyes Now on Dec. 18, 2017


It’s the end of the road for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) argument against the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.  

OOIDA’s first petition, proposed last March, urged courts to overturn the mandate, arguing it is “the equivalent of warrantless surveillance of truckers and that the government’s weak excuses for doing so fail to justify violating their Fourth Amendment rights.” 

Last October, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against OOIDA, but the organization persisted, filing a final petition in April with the Supreme Court as a last ditch effort. 

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied OOIDA’s lawsuit. This decision leaves in place a lower court ruling that upholds the mandate and its Dec. 18 compliance deadline.

Bystanders were doubtful the mandate will be overturned, but some were still waiting on the final decision – in particular, small fleets. Statistics in September showed 81% of large fleets had achieved full ELD implementation, compared to a third of fleets with less than 250 trucks. Though the numbers have increased since, small fleets have a long way to go.

Any fleet that has yet to adopt the new technology must begin the process now. Not only do they ensure regulatory compliance, but ELDs are already proving effective in other areas. For example, eLogs – a feature within more comprehensive GPS fleet tracking solutions – can spot and fix pain points faster than fleet owners and drivers can themselves.

Hours of Service (HOS) data paired with location data puts everything dispatchers need to make the best decision on job assignments at their fingertips. It lets them navigate trucks around traffic congestion and identify bottlenecks causing excessive fuel use.

ELDs also cut down drastically on driver logging and paperwork. In fact, a customer told us that after installing ELDs, drivers didn’t want to go back to paper logs because the tablet takes care of practically all the administrative work required of them for HOS tracking.

However, many fleet owners don’t realize how much time the ELD installation process takes. For a typical trucking fleet, it can take between 4 to 12 weeks to be up and running, from installation to training. 

Exemptions for the ELD Mandate are very specific and there is little room for interpretation. A fleet does not meet the standard for compliance by having only some vehicles equipped with ELDs. 

Those that do not comply will risk incurring safety violations, being placed out-of-service by FMCSA and hefty fines. Allow ample lead time to ensure the system is properly installed and tested and all staff members are fully trained.

To learn more about DIRECTOR ELD, Teletrac Navman’s FMCSA-certified solution, please visit: 

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