Thursday, 5 October 2017

The ELD Compliance Date Is Getting Closer

truck driver worries about ELD compliance
Time is really starting to fly. You may have already planned your Halloween party and started thinking about what to do for Thanksgiving. However, all of your planning for the holiday season may not be blissful, because the ELD compliance date arrives smack dab in the middle of it! What a damper on all of your holiday cheer.

ELD compliance date is on December 18, 2017 and it will be here before you know it. 

That means you only have about 2 ½ months to implement ELDs in your trucks. It’s best to go ahead and get started now because, despite the efforts to protest the mandate, the compliance date remains intact.

A Look At The ELD Mandate

An ELD is an electronic logging device that plugs directly into a truck’s engine to record a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS). They will help track, manage, and share RODS data. They will completely replace paper log books.

The ELD mandate was put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order improve driver safety and cut down on hours of service (HOS) violations. Currently, many fleets have onboard electronic devices or paper logs that can be easily forged.

Not only can drivers lie about their HOS, but they can easily be pushed towards driving over the daily limit. This is something that will hopefully be addressed by ELDs, even though they are met with major resistance.

OOIDA, the Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association has been in the long haul in the fight against ELDs. They have taken their case to the supreme court, saying the ELD mandate violates trucker’s fourth amendment rights. It’s believed that truckers won’t have protection against unreasonable searches and seizures when they are stopped.

The supreme court denied OOIDA’s claim, but that did not put out the flames. OOIDA is still working to stop ELDs and now has the help of the Coalition on their side. The Coalition is a group made up of 30 Owner-Operator Independent Driver Associations and other transportation-related groups. A few members include the United States Cattlemen’s Association, Mid-West Trucker’s Association, New England Fuel Institute, and more.

The coalition supports bill H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, which would delay the ELD mandate for another two years. They also believe the mandate should be delayed until issues such as security issues, lack of connectivity in rural areas, law enforcement’s ability to access this data, and more are solved.

However, when you consider the benefits of ELDs, do they outweigh the bad? Their claim to fame is that they will cut down on driver fatigue, wrecks caused by fatigue, and give law enforcement the ability to enforce compliance. They will reduce paperwork by eliminating paper logs that need to be processed back at the office. Also, they have to potential to improve communication and document driver safety in the event of an accident.

Still, though, ELDs will be costly to implement, and truckers will have much less privacy. Drivers are also concerned that will won’t be able to drive as long or be as productive.

What Do You Think?

The ELD mandate is well on its way, and implementation delays are highly unlikely. Will you be ready to comply with the mandate by December 18th or are you joining the fight to delay it? Please share your thoughts about ELDs and the mandate in the comment section below.

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