The Real Cost of Non-Compliance: Why ELD is Essential for Trucking Companies


The ELD mandate has shaken up the trucking industry. While there are some exemptions, most companies now need to install an ELD to ensure compliance with hours of service regulations. Aside from being compliant, an ELD can help drivers stay safe, improve CSA scores, and reduce paperwork burdens. It can also help with fleet efficiency through digital maintenance planning tools and route optimization.


The first and most obvious cost associated with non-compliance is the steep fines. Each ELD violation costs truckers between $1,000 and $10,000 on average. That’s a lot of money, especially for small fleets and owner-operators who can see their CSA scores drop and lose revenue due to these fines. Drivers without an FMCSA-approved electronic logging device (ELD) may face severe penalties from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration during roadside inspections. For example, if a driver is found to have an incompatible or uncertified ELD, they will be placed out of service and will only be able to resume driving once they install a compliant system. A fully-featured ELD device solution can reduce the time spent on paperwork for drivers and provide a better experience for inspectors at the roadside. Moreover, it can offer fleet managers insights into driving behavior to develop a safe driving culture across their operations. As a result, an ELD can help fleets save on administrative costs and improve their bottom line.

Lost Revenue

Aside from the monetary penalties, trucking companies lose significant revenue due to non-compliance with ELD requirements. For example, when drivers are placed out-of-service, they cannot drive their vehicles and don’t make any deliveries or pickups. This results in lost revenues, which is a substantial blow for small to medium trucking companies that often have a tight operating budget. In addition, fleets may be forced to buy additional trucks to keep the business running if they receive numerous ELD violations. In a large fleet, this can add up to millions of dollars in costs. While the Supreme Court has cast aside requests by smaller carriers to be exempt from the ELD mandate, there are ways for them to stay compliant without paying costly fines. One of them is to invest in a streamlined solution that does more than log driver hours of service. This way, a company will gain more from its investment and benefit from improved operational efficiency and safety outcomes.

Business Disruption

ELDs are a powerful tool that enhances fleet management, improves road safety and compliance, and shapes the trucking industry’s future. However, choosing the correct device for your fleet can be challenging. The best truck ELD should provide a powerful combination of dispatch management capabilities, an easy-to-use interface, and integration with your other business systems. A good ELD will eliminate paperwork and simplify communication between drivers and dispatchers, saving time and money. A well-integrated device can also help you automate IFTA fuel tax reporting and streamline other operations, such as tracking vehicle locations for efficient routing. Look for an FMCSA-certified ELD that self-certifies that it meets the ELD development technical standards set by the FMCSA. Consider an ELD that integrates with a cloud-based fleet management system to gain deeper insights into your business and uncover hidden inefficiencies. It allows you to make more informed decisions about your business and optimize your operations.

Damage to Reputation

During the soft enforcement period, ELD violations didn’t affect your Compliance, Safety, or Accountability score (CSA). But now that full enforcement is underway, they will. A low CSA score can increase roadside inspections, interfere with best-paying loads, and make it challenging to get dispatched for jobs. While an ELD can save fleets money in the long run by reducing fuel usage and improving efficiency, some truck drivers feel that real-time tracking and GPS technology violate their privacy. It may result in a decline in trust and harm the company’s standing.

As a result, it is essential to choose an FMCSA-certified ELD with a robust security system that offers a user account structure where drivers and support staff have separate accounts. It will help maintain driver trust and prevent privacy issues that could lead to the device being disabled. An easy-to-use interface also makes accessing and interpreting data from the device simple. It will make it easier for truckers to comply with the new mandate and avoid fines.

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