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New rule includes 8 ways to help prevent e-log harassment

| March 14, 2014

XRS in-vehicle EOBR moduleIn developing the electronic logging device mandate rule this go-around, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had to include provisions to properly ensure the devices couldn’t be used as a tool for carriers to harass drivers. 

The agency unveiled the ELD mandate rule March 13 — Click here to read more on the rule.

Driver harassment was the deciding factor in the derailment of the last rule, which mandated electronic onboard recorders, as a federal court vacated the rule in its entirety because it hadn’t properly safeguarded drivers from potential harassment. 


Logging device mandate could come in 2016, outlines hardware spec’s, harassment provisions

The rule addresses driver harassment protections, hardware specifications and hours of service-related supporting documents.

Congress also stepped in with the MAP-21 highway funding act from 2012: The law dictated that an ELD mandate come within a year of the law being enacted, but it also directed the agency to develop measures to prevent drivers from being harassed with the devices. 

FMCSA outlines eight proposed provisions to help prevent driver harassment with ELDs: 

Requiring drivers’ access to records: The rule would require that drivers have the ability to obtain copies of their ELD records “on or through” the devices. It also would require that carriers give drivers copies of their records (for the six months carriers are required to keep the records) when a driver asks for them. 

Explicitly prohibiting harassment: In the rule the agency prohibits carriers from harassing drivers with the devices. Harassment, per the rule, means “an action… involving the use of information available through an ELD…that the carrier knew or should have known would result in” a driver violating FMCSA regulations regarding fatigue or illness. 

Instituting complaint procedures: The rule implements a process by which drivers should file harassment complaints, including what the complaint would need to include: the action the carrier took and how ELD technology was used to contribute to the alleged harassment action.

Stiffening penalties to deter harassment: The new rule dictates that harassment will now be considered a violation of hours-of-service rules, and “the penalty for harassment would supplement the underlying HOS violations,” according to the rule.

Requiring mute functionality: As drivers have complained of carriers contacting them during rest periods through an ELD or related fleet management system, the rule stipulates that when a driver places an ELD into sleeper berth status, the device must automatically mute and turn off any sound output or at least allow the driver to manually mute the device when in sleeper mode. 

Instituting edit rights: The rule allows drivers and carriers to request edits to the electronic records of duty status. “Edit,” according to the rule, means a change that would not overwrite the original record, however. All edits or annotations on the records would be required to show who made them and the reason for the change. Edits made by carriers or drivers would need to be sent to the other party for approval. 

Limiting portions of vehicle location tracking: The rule does not require real-time vehicle tracking or location recording and does not require transmission of real-time location to carriers or law enforcement. Location data will be sent when: a driver changes duty status, a driver inputs personal use or yard moves, the truck’s engine powers on or off and at 60-minute intervals when the vehicle’s in motion.

Allowing privacy in enforcement proceedings: MAP-21 directs FMCSA to institute measures to protect drivers’ personal data when information from an ELD is used in enforcement proceedings. To do this, the agency says it will redact information before a document is made publicly available. 

Click here to see Overdrive’s previous coverage of the March 13 announced ELD mandate.

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  • Sedric

    The best way is just don’t us it.

  • gregbo

    Driver harassment is the sole purpose of ELDs.

  • del

    when they start this harassment tool I and anyone else with balls will shut down,

  • JPMinn

    One of their “justifications” for doing this is to “reduce paper clutter and storage of paper logs” for the overburdened carriers. But yet under IRS regulations if you get audited over your per diem deductions claimed you have to provide copies of your dailylogs as proofs for this deduction. SO you still have to have the paper records. Since most carriers are only keeping the electronic records for the required 6 months, what happens when your audit letter from the IRS comes to you after that? No paper record of your logs, no deductions. For most of us those per diem deductions are several thousand dollars or more alone.

  • JPMinn

    E-Logs, speed limiters, CPAP’s, its ridiculous. I have been an O/O for 28 yrs. When all this crap does come together i am done. I am tired of the abuse and all the BS from the government in the name of “Safety”. The government can have my truck. I think i will drive it up the capital steps and park it and tell them its theirs, I’m fed up with it all.

  • Dean

    In the past the e logs were turned down because of the harassment issue by police and other authorities. The sure played all that down and turned it in to protection from harassment from the carrier you drive for. With the elogs that is the least of my worries being I am a 17 year O/O. I am more worried about police and DOT scale harassment. Being they will be able to look over you information while you drive by on the highway. Most police I dealt with over the years did not even understand how to read a log book and you would have to defend yourself and make them understand there error. Now you will not even know who is looking over your e log. I bet after all this is in place with elogs in all the trucks we will just get a ticket in the mail from the officers looking over our logs as we drive by.A SHUT DOWN NEEDS TO HAPPEN BEFORE THIS GETS WAY OUT OF CONTROL AND NO ONE MAKES MONEY ANY MORE.Trucking use to be the job with 100% freedom now we will be slaves to the government how did this happen? The truckers own this country if we stop hauling good this country would crash faster the the slow crash we are already on by crooks in Washington DC.We could just stop delivering to DC till the elog nonsense goes away. How long would those crooks last with no food or TP? From here on out stop all trucks delivering to DC the whole state.

  • Do OO have a line in the sand?

    I changed careers a couple years ago and went back to driving a truck OTR.

    What really sucks, is that I see all you guys who were able to safely and efficiently earn a living as an owner-operator small business owner. You aren’t driving a BMW or Mercedes, but you own your homes, and your other vehicles (probably a bike or ATV), and of course your truck. You are the American dream. Yes, there were many sacrifices. Nights away from home, cold, rain, stress… you busted your ass for years.

    So what sucks is that this assault from the FMCSA and Congress (who has an historical low 6% approval rating) is naked aggression. It really is an act of war on our way of life.

    I have a baby (our first) on the way but I will shut down my rig tomorrow to protest this.

    We actually DO have all the power.

    This country would screech to a halt in 1 week if owner operators decided to organize like unions in the 70’s.

    We need to be vocal now-

  • g

    No Harassment??? whats trucking coming to?? Drivers have been harassed and intimidated to “make that delivery on time” forever…….Cop Agencies are suddenly aghast that this has been the NORM in trucking all these years…and Yes the driver WAS dead tired when he caused all those deadly Collissions??? This is NEWS to the bought and paid for Cop Agencies??? How absolutely hilarious…The rich COMPANIES will simply find ANOTHER method to Feed Their Greed…….cutting PAY and hiring foreign drivers is already a solution to many “Corporations”. Such a Crooked and Disgustingly Criminal industry…….sickening Joke is what trucking is…and really always has been…all lies and corruption.

  • ironage

    What does it say about an industry when the government has to make laws to keep a driver from being harassed by his own company (?)

  • guest

    Agreed….nobody will ADMIT truck drivers who go to work each day have been getting HARASSED at will on the job for DECADES???? Threatened with firing if they didnt Violate The Law??? Really what kind of SICK industry is this????? Oh gee…someone is being HARASSED in trucking???? Forced to run over Hours or seek new employment??? Cops act like they dont KNOW for dead Certain this behavior is the NORM in trucking…..???

  • guest

    Anne Ferro and Tony Foxx can fake ignorance….because they know NOTHING about real world trucking…they have never driven a truck one inch…..they are perfect for their Rich Special Interests that put them in office to be Yes Men and rubber stamp whatever DONATORS want them to do…..harassment? Really?? Anne and Tony know nothing….

  • Truckertwotimes

    Wow, sounds like all that above would require a college education that would be right up there with a lawyer type of knowledge status and a library of books to study on.

  • Truckertwotimes

    this kind of stuff is mentally draining, even Prozac can’t fix it.

  • Truckertwotimes

    The Challenge of getting it done was the reward, enjoyment and fun of driving, also the opportunity to rest, nap, sleep and sit out or nap out a rush hour or two as needed WAS the safe part of trucking. Now one can get beat down by three mandated rush hours a day….. MMMmmm

  • Truckertwotimes

    Don’t let them have anymore weed either

  • jojo

    Told my congressman’s office not to be surprised if I parked it out front and brought them the keys!

  • jojo

    If it’s not in MY truck then I can not be Harassed!
    Who’s going to enforce these rules? Thought they were going to save money by not having so many inspectors. Now they have to give them their jobs back?

  • Dave Nichols

    make the carrier or yoursefl in my case print the log pages in pdf format and file them. you can actually save the whole 6 months pdf log file on a thumb drive or disc, no need to print it unless irs asks for them

  • John Ryan

    Folks E-logs r here to stay. This is about shutting down the little guy and allowing total control to the fat cats in the one industry that a single one man can buy a truck and make his own co. and work hard and make a living. shame on u for over coming slave labor in the first place.OO you need to shut down and go to work for the big boys.

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    Look everyone knows that American truckers are Americas version of the Mexican cartell. I watched a movie of truckers in Europe picking up stranded motorists and forcing them to fight to the death and releasing only those who had proved themselves by wining the fight to the death.

    The E-log system when fully implemented will upload directly to a federal data base that will allow real time GPS tracking of EVERY truck on the road. As soon as that data base records any violation at all a notice will be sent to the nearest police officer giving them instruction to stop the vehicle and serve a violation notice along with a roadside inspection to make sure the driver is not in any other form of violation. Over time Tire inflation systems, engine monitoring systems, excessive Speed or braking, Video monitoring, and any other function of the vehicle will be tied into the E-log monitoring upload for complete and total oversight of the vehicle and driver along with video of the entire 360 degree view around the truck.

    Police will have the ability to simply shut your engine down with a keystroke, no more renegade drivers!! It will be promoted as a crime prevention and discovery tool because everyone knows that crime is prevalent wherever truckers are present. When ever there is a crime that a date and time can be linked to the data base will search for trucks that were in that area and download the video images for that time and place to see if they can discover evidence of the crime. This will not be all bad, crimes may be uncovered but at what cost? You think I am joking? Ha? wait and see, it is coming inch by inch, more recently a foot at a time.

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    I have driven near 2 million miles and when I watch movies about truckers even I am scared and paranoid when I see a truck coming down the road, according to the movies we are all rapists, kidnappers, murderers and drug runners, oh and tired truckers using our vehicles as killing machines. Obviously the only reason we have to fight total control is because it would limit our criminal activities.

  • steel hauler

    my question is who is going to pay for it? the cheapest system I have seen so far that is approved is a rand McNally gps with eld at a t/a for $700.00 with 6 months free service then 20 bucks a month after that. but YOU as an o/o still have to keep records that you have to print out and be able to provide the dot if requested. I think if they are going to push this crap on us they should give us the recorders, make it free to use them. I also think since paper will be a thing of the past they should force shippers and consignee’s to adhere to detention policies so we don’t run out of time sitting on their docks waiting to get loaded/unloaded. I also think since “fudging”, since no one ever “cheated” their log book, the 70 hr rule should be thrown out so we can increase productivity. we know when we are tired and need to get out of the truck and take a break. I also think that 30 break should extend the 14hr rule to 14.5 hrs instead of taking away from what little time we have to move the millions of pounds of goods this country depend on to survive. as for speed limiting, do we really need to move faster then 70mph? its not efficient and you get there no faster. but if you are going to limit us to 70mph or less, lets limit EVERYONE to 70 mph or less!!! that will get people bitching!!

  • Judy Keith

    Elogs are very stressful !

  • Judy Keith

    You are right !

  • Mike

    From what fucking planet do you come from. Lost of revenu for your familly is alright. 5 to 10 % lost of imcome per week is ok.

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