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A recent rule change by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is set to take effect in December 2017. That rule will obligate every commercial driver who is required to complete Records of Duty Status (RODS) or Hours of Service (HOS) records to be equipped with an Electronic Logging Device or ELD. Ever since this new regulation was announced, it has garnered quite a bit of controversy that shows no sign of slowing down now that the deadline is drawing near.
Many within the trucking industry believe the new mandate amounts to nothing more than government overreach. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) agrees, claiming they are “fundamentally opposed” to it. They assert that the requirement violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) has other concerns, which are primarily related to continuity of operations. For example, the group fears that data transfer between devices might be difficult, and that ELDs may not account for things such as truck breakdowns.
It seems there are also problems with getting trucks ready. For example, the FMCSA has only certified a few devices, and has provided little or no information to vendors who wish to self-certify their own ELDs. Further complicating matters is the fact that a new website that would allow vendors to self-certify is not yet up and running.
Implementing the change is anticipated to take a financial toll on the trucking industry. Small carriers in particular are expected to suffer, and some industry experts believe that many of them could go out of business.
Thus far, it seems as though truckers are mostly unhappy with this new rule, and believe it will do more harm than good. This has spurred at least two truckers to take action-a topic we will discuss in our next blog post. Until then, if you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming ELD mandate, please feel free to contact us.
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