Less than two months remained until a federal rule will require truckers to transit from paper logs to ELDs (electronic logging devices).
Though there are some commercial trucks that have already equipped with ELDs, there are still many truckers who don’t have ELDs and have concerns over this mandate.
Here are some listens to the effect they fear it will have once it takes effect.
Wayne Clark, owner of Clark farms said: “I’ve always dreamed of driving a truck since I was a little kid.”
Wayne Clark has been living out that dream on the road, traveling the country and helping people get the things they need since 1983.
Unfortunately, the independent owner-operator feels a new federal rule could make him out of the industry.
He said “If they actually go through with this law that’s when I hang up the keys. That’s it, I will never drive with an electronic log.”
Beginning Dec. 18, a mandate will require the majority of commercial trucks to be equipped with ELDs, replacing the old-fashioned paper log books. The ELDs range from $165 to $832.
Clark has spent thousands of dollars building his truck and said that the extra costs of the ELDs, plus monthly fees, will probably push out small business owners like him.
He said “Best case scenario, there will be a huge driver shortage. Worst case scenario, there will be a severe logistics problem.”
A recent research indicated a national lack of truck drivers. Some trucking companies have already applied the ELDs.
Another trucker Brent Poulsen drives around with one daily.
“Since I’m a lease operator the company owns my unit and I’m paying a little over a thousand a year so it costs me money,” said rent.
While it does relieve him of lots of paperwork, Poulsen says he finds it intrusive.
“It knows when I’m moving, how fast I’m moving, exactly where my location is. When I shut down, in a lot of ways it tells me when I have to sleep even if I’m not tired,” Pouslen said.
The ELD has a GPS position sensor and attaches to the vehicle’s engine to record the amount of time spent driving. Nevertheless, Poulsen thinks it’s inaccurate oftentimes.
According to him “If you move it will cut your 30 min rest period out, so I’ll have to sit for another 30 minutes even though I moved 15 feet.”
Truckers say the 14-hour service rule joint with this new mandate will be dangerous to the economy and security of drivers. Though, according to the federal motor carrier safety administration (FMCSA), the ELD mandate is estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries every year from crashes including large motor vehicles.
According to FMCSA, the reduction in the paperwork alone is anticipated to cause an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion.
“This compliance tool is going to hold them to a higher standard they’re not going to be able to maneuver or make it work or fudge the books when it’s being electronically monitored,” said another trucker.
“We’re supporting the amendment to postpone the eld ruling until we get training for the officers until we get the infrastructure setup,” Osburn said.
HR 3282 would cancel the ELD mandate for an additional two years.
Many companies and individuals have already invested in the technology and that a postponement would only punish those who are already prepared.