USA ELD Market Update
The number of ELD Providers now sits at more than 175. In December, we saw a last-minute surge of Providers trying to get FMCSA certified. Most of the newbies are resellers, using another company’s system and labelling it as their own.
Now that the ELD Mandate is in effect, the problems with various systems have popped to the surface. The number one issue is Bluetooth connectivity between the driver’s device and the ECM module. There are ten different Bluetooth versions out there. Problems arise when the driver is using an older device or smartphone that doesn’t have an up-to-date version. When the device loses connectivity with the module, the ELD logging system can shut down, causing all kinds of problems with creating a clean driver’s log. Drivers aren’t pleased when they’re told that they must upgrade their phone.
The second issue, as we predicted, is terrible customer service from some of the ELD Providers. Any company faced with a miniscule market share is going to struggle to support an effective call center. Companies that sell just the ECM module, and give away the application, don’t have any further cash flow. We’re hearing tales of many truckers already switching Providers.
The biggest issue, from the Providers perspective, is the enforcement grace period put in by the state and federal regulators. Up until April 1, 2018, truckers without an ELD system will be fined and given a citation, but won’t be put out-of-service. Because of this leeway, it is estimated that up to 40% of US truckers have yet to purchase an ELD system. Providers have had to continue their expensive marketing programs to get customers.
It will be interesting to watch how the ELD market will develop, and to see who survives.