While groups like the ATA and OOIDA are slugging it out over the mandatory ELD fight, many drivers and small carriers are looking on nervously. But there’s another group that’s also on the sidelines that have been largely unheard during the process. This week, an article published on Fleetowner.com has given the ELD manufacturers a chance to speak out. Unsurprisingly, it seems as though they’re just trying to sell more ELDs.
Back in July, a report from the House Appropriations Committee proposed delaying the ELD compliance date to give fleets, ELD manufacturers, and regulators more time to get up to speed and make sure the rule is the right move. The next day Congressman Brian Babin proposed H.R. 3282, which would delay the ELD implementation date by two years.
Rep. Babin’s bill currently has 38 co-sponsors, and despite a failed challenge of the mandate in court, it looks like OOIDA and its allies may be making some headway. And their success may have the ELD makers a little nervous.
Now executives at some ELD companies seem to be using fear to push fleets into becoming compliant.
One ELD manufacturer points out that since Congress is on recess until September 5th, there will be little time to push a bill through before the December 18th compliance date. But bills have been pushed through in less time before, especially bills with so many cosponsors.
Another executive cautions that fleets should implement ELDs sooner rather than later since his company expects carriers to need four to six weeks to “undergo the ‘cultural change’ that comes with ELD.”
Still another company is trying the “supplies are limited!” sales pitch claiming that if a fleet waits too long, there may not be any ELDs left. And even if there are, claims another exec, fleets may be forced to work with “whoever has something available” if their first choice of ELD is out of stock.
One pitch rings true however.
“It is business as usual for us,” said an executive at Omnitracs. “We are proceeding as the Dec. 18 date will occur. Right now we don’t anticipate any change.”
Despite victories for anti-ELD advocates, it still looks likely that the mandate will go into effect on December 18th. And if it does, we’ll see if it wasn’t the ELD manufacturers who needed more time.
“Let’s rip the band aid off,” said one executive. “Get going and we’ll all work out the details.”