The December 18th deadline has come and gone, the trucking industry is still trying to rally against the ELD mandate. The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) requires truckers to switch from paper logs which have been in use since 1930, to a digital system that automatically record hours of service. The original idea behind the mandate was to make roads safer by reducing the number of fatigued drivers on the roads and therefore reduce the number of accidents that occur.
Many in opposition are still looking for a repeal of the regulation.
“Groups representing small businesses and owner-operators have been increasingly vocal in Washington, calling for a delay or exemptions from the mandate for independent truckers and smaller motor carriers. (Some groups have already received exemptions.) Some of those drivers protested against the mandate at truck stops and state capitals across the US Monday,” says the Journal of Commerce.
The Root of the Rally
There are a number of reasons that the trucking industry is fighting against the ELD mandate. For some companies, it’s simply a matter of costs, which could prove to be a detriment, at the very least, to smaller companies. Many critics of the technology claim that standards are lacking in the new devices and could cost operators upwards of $4,000 for the first year it’s installed. An industry-wide estimated price tag for the new mandate runs to the tune of $1.8 billion. Based on cost alone, smaller companies (even those with sterling safety records) could have a hard time footing the bill.
Other drivers believe that the device is a violation of their privacy and even “criminalizes” them.
“That truck is my home, my business, my moneymaker,” truck driver Kim Schwindt told reporter Michelle Choi of KHOU. “I have a right not to have a GPS tracking device on my home.”
Another driver questioned the need for electronic logging.
“If you’re a safe operator, why must you be monitored by the federal government, like you’re a criminal?” David McKinney said. “The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) raised privacy issues in its lawsuit against the mandate, but its arguments were rejected by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in October 2016. The court found the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule did not violate driver confidentiality or the Fourth Amendment,”according to the JOC.
In a last-ditch effort to shake off the looming ELD mandate, truckers are appealing to U.S. President Trump, who supposedly, is “anti-regulation.”
“The U.S. Department of Transportation and supporters of the rule, set to take effect on Dec. 18, say it will save lives and make the nearly $700 billion trucking industry more efficient. Opponents contend the technology is unreliable and the $1.8 billion price tag is excessive,”said Reuters.
“Small operators – many of them Trump backers – view the Republican president’s response to requests for a delay as a test of his avowed support for small business. ‘One of the things we voted for, I voted for, was a change in the attitude in D.C.,’ said Dick Pingel, a 64-year-old Trump supporter and independent trucker from Plover, Wisconsin. ‘I guess if he doesn’t do anything about it, government isn’t listening to the small guy again,’” the Reuters article added.
A Done Deal
Because the mandate has been passed and is now required by law, it isn’t clear as to how much leeway the White House and the Department of Transportation have to work with if they decided they wanted to delay the ELD.
“My understanding with regard to ELDs is that they are now legally required,” Raymond P. Martinez, Trump’s nominee to head the FMCSA, said during his Oct. 31 nomination hearing. “It would be my intention to first and foremost abide by the law but also to have an open-door policy and work with all the impacted stakeholders,” according to the JOC.
Like it or not, the ELD mandate has kicked off. While the trucking industry is still trying to fight against it, many simply weren’t prepared for the mandate to begin with. With the hope of a delaying action all but past, trucking companies should be looking at the implementation in order to avoid fines and penalties.
The BlueGrace Expedited Solution
So what do you do when you’re faced with carriers who will have less available hours and capacity? You turn to an expedited freight expert. Working with a broker who has the resources to expedite shipping will be the answer. BlueGrace not only understands the importance of getting your product from A to B quickly, but they also understand that the new regulations are very quickly going to start cramping up the rest of the industry.
BlueGrace is ready to serve customers with our national fleet of non-dock high sprinter van, small/ large straight trucks with liftgates and pallet jacks for inside pick-ups and deliveries. As we mentioned, sprinter vans up to 24ft and straight trucks with a gross weight under 10,000 lbs will not have the ELD regulations and will be able to meet time sensitive deadlines. We will also be able to provide true team’s services for sprinter vans and up to 26ft straight trucks. Another added benefit to the hands on approach for expedited is that all shipments are tracked with updates every 2-4 hours depending on day points.
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