ELDS: Things You Should Know
On March 13, 2014, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a proposed rule to mandate Electronic Logging Devices (ELD, otherwise known as Electronic On Board Recorders) for all motor carriers. It is important to note that there is a two year implementation timeline from the time the rule is made final, which is still at least 6-12 months away. Realistically, the earliest the industry could see a mandated ELD requirement would be sometime in mid-2017.
While there is tremendous speculation about how much capacity could be eliminated from the marketplace due to inaccurate paper logbooks, the reality is that the industry continues to voluntarily adopt ELDs as older equipment is replaced and the CSA safety measurement system has paper log carriers following the rules more closely as well.
There is also a considerable amount of disagreement about how mandated ELDs could impact safety due to the issue of driver harassment. The American Trucking Association (ATA) sees significant benefit to mandated ELDs by more closely prohibiting drivers from operating beyond legal hours of service (HOS) limits. The Owner Operator Independent Drivers’ Association (OOIDA) fear that mandated ELDs will decrease safety. There are times when drivers voluntarily stop driving due to sickness or exhaustion by choice rather than completion of their full legal hours. If ELDs are mandated, there is a higher risk of companies harassing drivers into using the remainder of their driving time, despite any personal feelings of being a risk to public safety. What we do know is that this will be a very contentious rulemaking.
So how do you anticipate this rule will impact carriers, shippers, and the capacity market? Leave your comments below and we’ll check back this time next year to see how the rulemaking is going.