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The TU-Automotive’s Connected Fleets USA conference in Atlanta featured speakers exploring brave new transportation landscapes, including the one that mandates electronic logging devices.  Clem Driscoll, a telematics analyst and founder of C.J. Driscoll and Associates, was among the speakers. He presented findings of his company’s survey, revealing that, despite the impending deadline for switching over to ELDs, many carriers have still been monitoring drivers via paper logs.

Driscoll said the study surveyed 529 U.S. fleet operators. With the mandate for electronic logging devices coming up Dec. 18, 60 percent had not yet deployed ELDs; 33 percent were using AOBRDs and 6 percent were using a combination of e-logs and paper. Driscoll emphasized that the information was gathered in the second quarter and would likely be fluid.

One question for the fleet operator included if they deploy the electronic devices. In addition, it asked for third quarter, fourth quarter or not at all? A third said they planned to either switch to ELDs in the fourth quarter or wait as long as possible.

His company’s research also indicated that large companies preferred to equip their fleets with the same make of the device.

Driscoll said most of the large fleets generally opposed “bringing your own device” or letting drivers using their own devices for a couple of reasons.  “The majority we interviewed favor a company wide solution that would be installed in the vehicle,” said Driscoll, “They wanted consistency with the drivers, who move from one truck to another.”

In addition, he said the fines were a factor in favoring the same ELD configuration.  “They know they receive a fine if not in compliance. These companies, particularly the large fleets, really don’t want to depend on the drivers bringing their own phone. What if something happened to the phone or it was lost?”

Driscoll said a separate survey done in the second quarter asked questions of owner-operators. Of those surveyed, none had deployed ELDs yet.

Driscoll unveiled the highlights of his firm’s study, the 2017-2018 Survey of Fleet Operator Interest in MRM Systems and Services during TU-Automotive’s Connected Fleet event in Atlanta. According to Driscoll, this multi-client study sponsored by 19 companies is believed to be the largest study conducted to date on the U.S. commercial telematics market.

In a phone interview, he told Land Line he did not expect a delay of the mandate and predicted a heavy last-minute demand for the devices.

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