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Coming into Focus: Federal Officials to Require Electronic Logging Devices on Commercial Trucks
E-Logs: New trucking rule requires e-logging devices on trucks starting in 2017, aimed at improving compliance with driver rest requirements.
Date Posted: 2/1/2016
New trucking rule requires e-logging devices on trucks starting in 2017, aimed at improving compliance with driver rest requirements.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced that it will require commercial trucks and buses to deploy electronic logging devices (ELDs) by December 16, 2017. However, the rule will not apply to drivers in vehicles made before the year 2000.
Electronic logs are intended to help make hours of service log requirements easier to fulfill. The idea is that paper records can be cumbersome and difficult to keep up with for drivers. Also, paper records can be manipulated easier to allow drivers to get around rest mandates. Upon beginning use of an ELD, drivers will no longer be required to keep and maintain paper logs. However, they will have to maintain supporting documentation that the carriers or owner-operators keep on file.
New ELD rules also prohibit driver harassment from employers via devices, hardware specifications of the devices and supporting documentation drivers must continue to keep after the mandate.
The FMCSA stated that the new rules “will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.”
An ELD automatically records driving time. It monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information. Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving. Motor carriers that have previously installed compliant automatic on-board recording devices may continue to use them for an additional two years beyond the compliance date.
The ELD final rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on an FMCSA website.
The new rule has met with mixed reviews. Some of the larger carriers support the move while many smaller, independent carriers oppose the measure. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers (OOIDA) Association has filed a legal challenge to the rule.
A copy of the ELD final rule is available at: https://goo.gl/xh99Nf