Commentary: The ELD Mandate’s Unanswered Question

13 Feb by Vitaliy Dadalyan

Commentary: The ELD Mandate’s Unanswered Question

By Deborah Lockridge

I refuse to ever put a devil’s machine in my truck.”

Deborah Lockridge

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That’s what a three-truck fleet owner told me when he called to talk about mandatory electronic logging devices – and it wasn’t just a figure of speech. He said ELDs, along with computers and the Internet, will be Satan’s tool to control us all after the Rapture. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, he said, is being controlled by the Prince of Darkness himself.

I’m withholding his name, but my caller said he’s been driving for some 50 years and millions of miles and has a totally clean record, no tickets, no accidents. He also said God is his co-pilot – and perhaps he is, if this driver regularly drove coast to coast in 37 hours, as he claimed. As you might guess, he said he will not put an ELD in his truck.

I wonder how long that clean record will last.

As I write this, it’s been just over a month since the FMCSA started requiring most interstate commercial truck drivers to start using ELDs to track compliance with federal hours of service rules.

The reactions to the long-delayed, long-debated, long-contested ELD mandate that took (partial) effect in December have been all over the map, from this extreme example on one end, to FMCSA’s new deputy administrator saying that “a great deal of work with our enforcement partners went into ensuring that the rollout of the ELD rule was a success.”

The reality, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. Of course with any big regulatory change like this, there are going to be hiccups, to say the least.

You can read about a few of them in our Safety & Compliance department this month. For instance, there’s a fair amount of confusion among drivers and enforcement personnel about the …Read the rest of this story