Truckers and other commercial vehicle drivers are required by law to keep track of the number of hours they spend behind the wheel.
Some drivers still use paper logs to record these metrics.
After years of study, the FMCSA is requiring commercial truck drivers to switch from paper logs to an Electronic Logging Device (ELD), a computer record of the miles traveled, and time on the road.
Trump administration may affect trucking industry – but not ELD
The recent Presidential election has left many in trucking industry speculating about the effect of a Trump administration. Among those speculations: the ELD mandate may not go into effect as scheduled.
Since the passage of MAP-21 in 2012, fleets have been preparing for the transition from paper logs to ELD to record Hours of Service (HOS). The deadline for the transition is December 2017.
Even though we don’t know much about the next administration’s plans, the ELD mandate seems unlikely to change.
First, the ELD mandate passed with strong support from a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Another Republican-led Congress is not likely to backtrack.
Technology isn’t likely to backtrack, either. It would very unusual to regress from a computer-based system back to a paper system.
Additionally, the transition from paper logs to ELDs has been in progress for several years. Many carriers have already implemented the use of ELDs. Carriers currently using electronic logs that don’t meet the new standards have until 2019 fully comply with the rule.
Truckers will benefit from the faster, easier method of tracking their hours of service. And the rule has support from at least some in the trucking industry.
“This regulation will change the trucking industry – for the better – forever. An already safe and efficient industry will get more so with the aid of this proven technology.”– ATA President and CEO Bill Graves
Finally, last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down a lawsuit challenging the ELD mandate, filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association.
The ELD rule is conservatively estimated to prevent 26 fatalities and 562 injuries from commercial motor vehicle crashes every year.
Widespread implementation of ELD’s across the trucking industry has long-term safety benefits for motorists—and for truck drivers.