No matter how you feel about ELDs, they are coming for truckers. The big questions everyone keeps asking is who will stick around, who will retire or quit the industry, how do you handle privacy and keep logic and common sense in the loop? It’s going to be one windy road to navigate and hopefully we can shed a little light on the topic. There’s a lot of facts and fiction floating around right now. Here’s what we have compiled so far.
It’s happening! It might not be as quick as everyone thinks but their goal is to have the eld mandate active by December 16, 2017. This could affect the majority of drivers in the United States as well as roughly 140,000 Canadian drivers that also operate across the border.
The Four Main Rules:
- Commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records must adopt ELDs.
- Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment. The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.
- A separate FMCSA rulemaking safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.
- Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs to produce compliant devices and systems.
- Establishing new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions. In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.
With all that said; who is really getting the benefit of all these regulations? There’s a lot of new business and jobs that can enter the industry through the technology aspect but how does that affect the drivers who are doing the real job, the driving. There are two sides to this coin, from the legislative side it is all about safety and accountability. The e logs can help drivers prove certain accidents or situations weren’t their fault and avoid being forced to break laws or drive when they shouldn’t. However, some drivers feel these logs are an intrusion into privacy and provide too many tracking metrics. It’s the position of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Will you fight it or embrace it?
There are a lot of talk about exemptions and people rushing to buy trucks that fit those niches. These are not permanent and might only last a few years until they figure out another solution. Don’t rush to buy a pre-2000 rig or change your job just yet, there will still be a lot of changes coming. Some current exemptions include:
- Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue using timecards; they are not required to keep RODS and will not be required to use ELDs.
- Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
- Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.
- Drivers who are required to keep RODS not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.
An additional exemption came to livestock haulers who will have until the end of the 2018 fiscal year if the new bill is approved by both the house and senate. The new legislation is set to be reviewed July 19, 2017 allowing the livestock industry a little more time to address their concerns. Suggesting a more liberal approach to work hours when forced to wait in loading lines.
Do you know anyone who currently uses elog books? A lot of responses on social media from drivers overseas, who have been using electronic logging devices for years, say that it hasn’t drastically changed their job or income, it just made their driving and routes more structured. If you want to get started now with e logs we have some great options here if you are searching where to purchase electronic logging devices. We have the complete units like the VDO RoadLog as well as easy plug in options that connect to phone apps.
What do you think about all the changes in the industry? Only time will tell if the mandate is going to last or more exemption will need to be made. It’ll be very interesting to see how all this plays out going into 2018. Next year will be the time to embrace the changes or maybe hang up the keys and head home. What will your final decision be?