Historic Day or Bust? E-Logs and What to Expect!

The time has come! Today is the day that electronic logging devices, also known as e-logs, are set to go into effect. “Hooray!” (Note sarcasm) Now, of course, we are all for more safety on the road for our truck drivers out there; y’all are the bread and butter of America. But, do you really think another mandate from good ole Uncle Sam is really helping matters? OK, before we go off on too much of a rant, let’s just tell you what ELDs are, what they’re supposed to do, and what you can expect. And, oh yeah, if you drive a ‘99 Freightliner, good for you, man.

What are ELDs?

ELDs are electronic logging devices and a device the FMCSA (big wigs of government) believe will improve the safety of our roadways by monitoring a driver’s compliance with the hours-of-service regulations. So basically it’s a really fancy piece of software, a handful of men’s (and women’s) opinions, and a trucker’s fight to stop driving sleepy. OK, maybe it’s not exactly that, but it is a safety movement to prevent truck drivers from forcing themselves to push through the night to deliver a load, as well as to lower the number of accidents on the road.

We fully support protecting our truck drivers, but why does the new law mandate only making these requirements for certain truckers and trucks? Getting ahead of ourselves.

Purpose of These Contraptions

So ELDs, e-logs, whatever you wish to call them, are a device used to automatically record a trucker’s driving time. It monitors the hours the engine has been running, the movement of the vehicle, miles driven, and the location of the rig. Scott Darling, the FMCSA Acting Administrator believes that “This is a win for all motorists on our nation’s roadways. Employing technology to ensure the commercial drivers comply with federal hours-of-services rules will prevent crashes and save lives.”

What to Expect from ELDs

The mandate specifies that this new ruling applies to all drivers, except those who keep a record of duty status in eight or fewer days out of every 30 working days, drivers in drive-away and tow-away operations, and truckers with vehicles older than a 2000 model. Some safety ruling if you ask us? Shouldn’t it apply to everyone if you really want to enforce safety? How do these mandates ever come into existence?

But long story short, the laws the law so we must comply. You must be able to have a record of your date, time, and location, including your engine hours and vehicle miles. You must have this device installed and in use by December 16, 2017. And when it’s installed, you’ll be required to transfer data during roadside inspections, “on-demand” via a wireless web-based service, email, or Bluetooth.

What’s the Verdict, You Ask?

Although this might be useful for the larger carriers, this mandate tremendously hurts the small fleets and independent owner-operators. OOIDA President Jim Johnson has a few words he would like to say to the FMCSA, “This rule has potential to have the single largest, most negative impact on the industry than anything else FMCSA has done.” Don’t worry, OOIDA will be fighting for your truck drivers in court. And furthermore, this is a violation of privacy! Johnson continues his comments to say, “While they choose to call it electronic logging systems, in reality, it is an electronic monitoring system for law enforcement purposes. They can’t even do this to known criminals without a court-issued warrant.”

So for now, we’ll agree that this is the law and we equip our trucks with the latest ELD, but that doesn’t mean we give up the fight to overturn this. All we can ask of you, truckers, is to hang in there and hope that this gets sorted out. At TruckLogics, we always want you to be the safest you can be on the road. And although we can’t help what the people in Washington think, we’ll be here to help you out as much as we can. Right this moment, we’re thinking and designing ways where we can help you with this new mandate. So stay tuned, keep trucking, and follow TruckLogics.

Over and out!

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