Drivers stand to benefit from ELDs?

| April 23, 2014

ELD plans poll In a blog post published on the website of Overdrive sister fleet magazine CCJ, Equipment Editor Jack Roberts addressed Overdrive‘s survey on drivers and owner-operators’ plans relative to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, currently under a public comment period. As Roberts noted, the survey showed “a whopping 71 percent of independent [owner-operators and small fleet owners] responding to the survey said they’d fold up their tents and quit … if an ELD mandate became law.” 

Related

ELD mandate: Independents’ final straw?

An Overdrive survey shows between 50 and 70 percent of respondents threatening to exit the industry over the electronic-log mandate -- the highest percentages are among independents/small fleets.

Polling, Roberts wrote, “can be notoriously tricky to get right, as Fox News discovered on Election Night back in 2012. Which is why I don’t believe for one minute that 71 percent of all the owner-operators on the road today are going to say, ‘Screw it!’ and quit if an ELD mandate becomes law. It’s one thing to answer a few questions on a survey and say you’ll quit. It’s another thing to think about feeding your family, making the rent and keeping the lights on when push comes to shove. And besides, in case you haven’t heard, jobs are still hard to come by in this economy.”

Related

ELD rule public comments mixed, with renewed focus on hours rule

Among others, Mark Olsen of Clinton, Utah, echoed the overall mixed nature of the comments all told. However, he rejoined arguments in favor of the need for ELDs with a message heard increasingly -- that the hours of service rules in general are the bigger problem as regards true safety.

Roberts went on to address the issue that “cuts to the core of the opposition to ELDs,” he wrote: Privacy. “Americans are a free people increasingly surrounded by a growing Surveillance State. Technology has made it easier than ever before to track the movements and activities of people as they go through all aspects of their lives. Sometimes this is a good thing: The identification and capture of the Boston Marathon bombers last year springs to mind.” Sometimes not. 

You can read his full story, including thoughts from a fleet owner who recently made the switch to ELDs, and some of that fleet’s drivers, via this link.

  • Cary Davis

    An ELD is not about $$TAKE HOME$$. It is about keeping people from pushing the envelope, lying on their log books, running over hours, not getting required and much needed rest, and killing people because of it.
    From the message I am recieving, it appears to me that a few people dying is ok as long as it doesn’t affect YOU personally, or, if it doesn’t generate more money for you then any regulation AT ALL is just Big Brother keeping you down.
    I’m sorry, but that is just plain silly! I am always going to fight for the side of being safe, and if you choose to do the opposite so be it.

  • Sam Webb

    The 4th ammendment of the US Constitution guarantees us the right to reasonable expectation of privacy. E-logs record every move, when we make it, and exactly where we make it. It opens the door to video surveillance in our trucks as well. If we allow this, then the Constitution is apparently printed on toilet paper. I ADAMANTLY refuse to go to E-logs.