According to recent comments by the American Trucking Association, the federal electronic logging device mandate will take effect as scheduled on December 18, 2017, despite years of challenges and industry controversy.
The new regulation mandates that most interstate trucking companies will need to replace standard paper log books with electronic devices, ensuring more accurate accounting and compliance with hours of service regulations. For carriers that have been recording HOS details in an honest and straightforward manner, the new ELD mandate will simplify their reporting processes and will increase efficiency. However, for carriers that have been “fudging” the numbers in their paper log books, the new ELD system will reveal inconsistencies and errors in HOS reporting.
Many shippers believe that the new ELD system will reveal a less efficient industry, with an overall efficiency reduction from 3-8%, with runs greater than 500 miles showing the widest discrepancies. Additionally, many shippers have shown concerns that the carriers they use are compliant with ELD regulations, or that their brokers have plans to ensure carrier compliance.
Scott Hecht, President of Nationwide Transportation, encourages carriers to become compliant before the December 18 deadline.
“The ELD regulation was mandated by Congress and confirmed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2015. Even after challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. The industry has had two years to transition to ELDs. There is no indication that the mandate will be delayed, and we have every reason to believe that the mandate will be enforced.”
American Trucking Association President Chris Spear believes that the ELD mandate will help make the trucking industry safer, more accountable and more productive. In an excerpt from TT News, Spear was quoted as saying. “There are no surprises here.” “It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be enforced.” “It’s been litigated, it’s been debated, it’s been regulated. It will be the force and effect of law.”
Despite questions and concerns about implementation and enforcement, FMCSA has stated that it will enforce the rule starting on December 18. Hecht encourages carriers to take this ruling seriously and to prepare for implementation. “The industry is moving toward more digital controls and will insist upon compliance. Those that are non-compliant will lose opportunities and may be penalized.”