ELD mandate: Readers respond

| March 17, 2014

Though an electronic-logging-device mandate has been unveiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, leading into the release readers continued to air ideas on the best way to handle logs. 

S.E. (Susan) and Warren McCurdy

S.E. (Susan) and Warren McCurdy

S.E. McCurdy, one-half of a Landstar Ranger-leased owner-operator team, proposed an alternative system that she had experience with. It uses electronic time-stamped records placed at driver stopovers, delivery points and other locations along interstate routes.

“This is not welfare, nor socialism, nor Big Brother interfering,” she wrote in this piece on OverdriveOnline.com. “It is the system that was in use by one of the largest privately held corporations in Wisconsin, Gateway Foods. We know this because we worked for them before we became owner-operators.”

Among Overdrive readers, emotions run high on the very mention of a requirement for interstate haulers to utilize electronic logging devices for hours of service compliance. More than half of the respondents to this poll, conducted in the weeks prior to the ELD mandate's release,  showed a strong preference for another line or work or retirement over use of the devices. Running intrastate, assuming states didn't adopt the federal rule (unlikely in most), to avoid using the devices was the second-most commonly chosen poll result.

Among Overdrive readers, emotions run high on the very mention of a requirement for interstate haulers to utilize electronic logging devices for hours of service compliance. More than half of the respondents to this poll, conducted in the weeks prior to the ELD mandate’s release, showed a strong preference for another line or work or retirement over use of the devices. Running intrastate, assuming states didn’t adopt the federal rule (unlikely in most), to avoid using the devices was the second-most commonly chosen poll result.

The idea struck a chord with readers. They particularly liked McCurdy’s justification for an alternative to the truck-tied electronic logging devices currently on the market, which with some variations are the kinds of devices that would be mandated by the new rule. EOBRs/ELDs are “forcing drivers to bear the financial burden of and accountability to the unreasonable and constantly changing and contradictory standards placed upon them by nondriving rulemakers,” McCurdy wrote. “EOBRs are being put in the wrong places. The devices should be placed at all the shippers and receivers in the country rather than in the trucks.”

When deployed this way, “each time a driver shows up to load or unload, they bring in a time card, and the customer time-stamps it,” McCurdy wrote. It’s stamped again at departure. Customers “should be billed at $50 an hour for the driver’s time spent at their business. Roadside inspection sites, toll booths, construction zones and inefficient fueling stations should also have to time-stamp a driver’s time card and be billed for delays in their areas. Dispatchers, too, have an accountability role in driver efficiency and fatigue. When a driver calls in for a load, the dispatcher should record the time between the call and the dispatch and pay the driver accordingly for sitting.”

Related

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Reforming employee-driver compensation by removing the FLSA overtime exemption was among top recommendations, likewise expanding truck-parking availability, sleep apnea, further New Entrant attention and more.

While such an idea may sound unreasonable to those in other parts of the industry, there is at least some appetite for increasing safety-regulatory authority. At the February meeting of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, made up of diverse representatives advising the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on safety policy, boosting such authority and enforcing an as-yet-unspecified restriction on driver detention were top priorities. The ideas were among items the committee recommended FMCSA take to Congress to approve in the next highway bill.

MORE READER RESPONSE, following the mandate’s announcement 
Del Ray Johnson: ”Few drivers think or talk about the money [which is the real issue]. If they say ELD we babble about it, if they say Mexican truckers we babble about that. If they say brake inspections on self-adjusting slack adjusters we babble about that, too, instead of “Hey man — you aren’t paying me so I do not care and I am going to park your truck! Like I said, ELDs in trucks: Great we can do it July 1st because I ain’t using paper logs to run 90 hours a week anyway.”

Scott T. Nixon: “The independent owner-operator derives no benefit from any of [a typical e-log with fleet-management capabilities] since he/she is already in the cab of the truck and can already monitor his/her truck from behind the steering wheel. He/she has no fleet to monitor and no need to communicate with dispatch. The result is a competitive advantage for the larger fleets over the single owner-operator resulting from this ELD mandate, something the federal government should not be doing as the Justice Department should be enhancing competition, not inhibiting it.” 

Chris Thomas: “I’m going to go turn wrenches myself once the logs come into play, work my ass off, still make bank, still play with trucks.” 

Terry Gunderson: ”Laws should be for everyone… If you pass a law regulating a motor vehicle, then all motor vehicles are to be subjected to the same law. Cars not able to be used after 14 hours since first daily startup without a consecutive 10-hour break and sitting at work doesn’t count. Try getting that one into law.

The detention issue was front and center throughout the meeting’s first discussion day. MCSAC member Danny Schnautz of Texas-based Clark Freight Lines hammered away on the need for shippers and receivers to come under federal safety-regulatory purview, putting forward ideas to impose a requirement that drivers and carriers alike be paid for time detained. 

Said MCSAC chair Stephen Owings, “That whole concept should be expanded to require that the whole chain of responsibility is on the hook financially and in every other way for doing anything to encourage dangerous behavior.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s initial statement on the issue also hammered on issues it considers of vastly more safety benefit than a mandate for ELDs, which it has long opposed:

Congress and the courts have set the standard of requirements high for FMCSA [in MAP-21 and elsewhere]. The agency must address the serious safety issue of how EOBRs are used to harass and coerce truck drivers into continuing to drive regardless of driving conditions, such as bad weather, congested traffic or simply if the driver is too tired to drive. Plus, there is no known device that is capable of automatically recording a driver’s duty status throughout a work day, not just when they are driving, and this is also a requirement from Congress. We will examine the proposal in detail to see how the agency has attempted to meet these requirements, especially considering that an important study on the harassment issue is still listed as “ongoing” on the FMCSA website.

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Does the EOBR mandate have another problem?

Some believe the electronic on-board recorder mandate written in this year's highway bill could well be impossible to achieve, given the legislation's language defining the ...

Further, the issue of cost to truckers and what specific technical requirements are called for, especially when FMCSA has yet to show any direct safety benefit between ELD/EOBR use and reduced crashes, will be a critical focus of our review of the proposal. This is the first stage in the regulatory process for the agency’s latest attempt to craft a rule on this topic, and OOIDA and small business truckers will certainly be weighing in and providing comments.”

In the weeks before the ELD mandate rule’s release, Overdrive asked readers what their response to such a rule would be. Results of the poll, along with further reader response via Facebook and here at OverdriveOnline.com, follow. 

Rob Singhisen: Retire. I’m fed up with government regulations anyway. Trucking is not a crime – I’m tired of all the harassment.

Lawrence Lamson: I don’t know what people complain about [so much with] e-logs. I was skeptical, but once I went with a company that runs it and learned the tricks to it, there’s not one load that came across that screen I had to reject because of lack of hours. You get accounted by the minute, not by 15-minute increments. I still get 3,000-3,300 miles weekly out of a 65-mph truck.

Rene Barboza: I don’t run them as a local driver, and if they ever mandate them for local drivers, I’ll quit! It’s already the reason why I refuse to run OTR. Carriers are taking the money right out of drivers’ hands with this garbage! E-logs equal more time sitting. More time sitting means less time running, which equals a lot less revenue for the truck and the driver.

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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.

Chris Dodds: Never in my truck. I drive it, I own it, I paid for it.

Todd Ramey: I’m on e-logs (small company driver) and don’t have a problem with them, and I still get 3,000 miles a week. What I do have a problem with is mandating them for all trucks. Let the companies put them in if they want. But there are, for the most part, good law-abiding owner-operators out here. Don’t punish them by forcing them to put them in. Punish the bad apples who continually have multiple log violations.

Related

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.

Ron Spencer: My wife and I run team [from] Seattle to the Carolinas, but the truck sits every night for at least eight hours. I’m not worried about e-logs one bit until it can report who was actually behind the wheel at any certain time. Another toy for my entertainment.

Shawn McConniel: I’ll put them in when they pay for it. 

  • g

    Drivewyze is installing the Elog System that had Anne Ferro grinning from ear to ear….the COPS READ your elogs from inside the chicken house…they dont even have to get off their chair to know YOU the criminal driver are in VIOLATION!!!!!! This is the future of trucking…….bet on it. Also you will have a CAMERA watching YOU all day and night Dash CAM has already installed these HitlerCameras in lots of fleets…..enjoy!!

  • totally fed up

    lets just be put on an hourly rate you book a load its 1200 miles 20 man hours if you own the truck its 100/ hour plus fuel… company drivers the load is 20 manhours you get your hourly rate for 20 hours of drive time.. and tell all the shippers, receivers 100/hour after 2 hours.. that’s it plain and simple…now do the math and you can thank me

  • PattyCakes

    Looks like the Voting Habits of the last few years are coming back to haunt …. just like picking up your phone and your friendly DHS Agent is listening in , so now will be your friendly Truck Nazi …

    ………… get your wallets out ( if you have anything left in it )

    Hey, anyone got GPS coordinates for America …. I hear they have Rights and even Laws against stuff like this …. thinkin’ I’ll move there.

  • Kurt Keilhofer

    I think all government owned vehicles should also have the same mandate. Let those that create and enforce the laws live by them as well.

  • roots

    the only thing this benefits is the big companies with the inexperienced drivers.dont put this bullshit on the little guy that’s been driving for years making an honest living.and if this does happen why should we pay,you want it you pay for it

  • Trucker Bob

    I understand your frustration but would you really fly an airline where the pilots had no hours of service regulations or could use paper logs with little effective oversight?
    Fair pay and conditions is a separate issue from the government’s right and duty to protect all public drivers on the road network.

  • jojo

    An airline Pilot isn’t stationed to his unit the way a Driver is stuck to his truck.

  • Mike Smith

    Why don’t they just read our speed also. And everyone else’s as well. I guess the next thing is for them to just shut our trucks off at 8hrs, then again at the 11th hr. WHEN WILL THE HORSE SHIT ATTACKS ON US END????????????/

  • Mike Smith

    Some have said, ‘If your driving legally you should have nothing to worry about’. I heard this horse shit on the daytime Road Dog program with that P C radio guy. You can’t call into attack these stupid statements or the talk show host will “push the button” and hang up on you. But this kind of stupid ass statement is exactly what they say when a COP asks to search your car, ‘If you have nothing you have nothing to worry about’. This is idiotic, anti-American, thinking, if you can call it thinking!

  • jojo

    With ten different types of backup documents per day per truck, seems like they have the problem solved without even using these boxes.
    This overly burdensome amount of paperwork on an independent is ludicrous on top of having the box.
    We already have many types of time stamps while en route. Don’t have time stamps at beginning or end in most cases.
    These ten required documents I believe include Bills of Laden. Uhhh, wouldn’t it be cost effective to simply require time and date at origin, destination and any stops in-between?

  • jojo

    Right on Mike!

  • William McKelvie

    Mike, call into CenterLane Show, those guys will NEVER shut the mike on the truth. You cannot drop the F or other cursing but the truth, they allow it. Check it out!

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    “I firmly believe our gov has been over thrown by the businesses and corporations that benefit”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES SIR ON THAT.

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    and an Airline Pilot gets paid.

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Thank You. BUT, this is how they profit, someone has to work cheap and free.

  • grizzly76108

    I have been trucking for 33 years ,I am a 3rd generation driver .I saw m dads windshield get shot out in the 70s . I have never liked strikes but people if we don’t pull together and start fighting back we wont be able to get anywhere . they will have us so regulated we want be able to move with out asking.we need to shut down for 3 days go home take our 34 hour restart ,not in truck stops but go home.if you don’t have a home go to a family member or friends house . this way everyone will see what we do ,and how important we are .

  • vince

    you want it in my trucks, not a problem as long as you pay for it.

  • Swede

    When it comes to the drivers above that say e-logs are ok with them, they are lying through their teeth. When you have bad weather and everyone slows down, you aren’t going to make your 3000 or 3300 miles per week. When you’re tied up in traffic, because of an accident or just rush hour, that’s time lost and can’t be made up legally. Your e-log will show everything and guess what that is unpaid time, so the trucker takes it in the shorts again.

  • RICHARD BECK

    I AM TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU,GRIZLIE BEAR…WE NEED STRIKE AND START BEING UNITED EVERYONE INCLUDING COMPANY DRIVERS AND O/O.WE CAN’T TOLERATE THIS ANYMORE, A TYRANY OF FMCSA AND PSYCHOPATH ANNE FERRO..IF SOME OF THE DRIVERS KEEPS BEING SELFISH,THEY’RE GOING TO SUFFER THE OTHER WAY DOWN THE ROAD..TODAY ELD’S,NEXT DAY SPEED LIMITERS,NEXT WEEK THEY START REGULATING WHAT WE EAT TO STAY HEALTHY,RIGHT..IT KEEPS GETTING OUT OF HAND..SOMETHING MUST BE DONE AND RIGHT AWAY..GOOD LUCK EVERYONE WHO THINK THE OTHER WAY..

  • Dave Swan

    I’m not going to be a part of this nonsense. If they can find enough Drivers who are dumb enough to comply with this, then good luck.

  • RICHARD BECK

    it’s not only truckers job to protect public safety..3.1 million trucks on the road against 220 million 4 wheelers…where’s the statistics to prove eld’s are better than paper logs by safe experienced drivers..where’s the laws mandating the other industries ,how long someone can work…it’s a bullshit and total corruption created by fantasy of FMCSA administration..who can listen this brainwashing like zero accidents is possible…someone suppose to be moron even to believe this…when real truth is the opposite..
    doe’s anyone really think if you install ELD’S in your truck , we’re going to achieve zero accidents?..if that’s would be true,i am in..however,the facts say something else…
    fact of the year 2013 .since the implementation of new HOS last July 2013,if you compare first 6 months versus last 6 months of 2013,the fatal trucker deaths increased by 51 …
    my question is ..WHO IS GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXTRA “SAFETY” DEATHS?..
    I’LL TELL YOU,FMCSA ADMINISTRATOR – ANNE FERRO AND US SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION …THEY EASILY CAN BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF THIS EXTRA TRUCKERS ,IF THIS STATISTICS WILL BE VERIFIED AND PEND OUT TO BE TRUE…

  • john f

    this is the last straw, done being badger and brutalized by the bureaucracy . go haul your own shit , I’m done.

  • john f

    Well Vince , that is the wrong thinking. They have no business or right in your or my truck whether they pay for it or not !!!!!!

  • g

    Yep thats an old Aggravating “wave of the hand sweeping statement” all Yellow Bellied Cowards spew…..”if you aint doin nothin wrong”…..you add the finish……ya should just allow the COPS to probe yer ANUS if ya aint got nothin ta hide……that statement if for a COMMUNIST belly crawler…..our Founding Fathers did NOT intend for us to submit to Tyranny in ANY form. Our Founders favored FREEDOM…even if you WERE in the WRONG…Gov has to PROOVE it….the BURDEN to prove GUILT is the burden of the STATE…..NOT the Citizen.

  • g

    No Doubt those who Benefit are writing up these new rules…

  • g

    Alot of guys who already HAVE Elogs…have had ACCIDENTS while Racing the CLOCK to park the truck before he runs out of Hours and is in VIOLATION….with Paper logs we have some leeway…and wont be n this situation. The Elog driver is Constantly racing against TIME…and becomes a MENACE to the highway.

  • g

    Absolutely TRUE….total documentation of your time with Elogs…you wont earn a penny with this crappy Elogs. It is designed for childtruckers who arejust Learning and need a baby sitter……they WANT you to LEASE on with a mega fleet full of ROOKIES and getyou 90 Cents per mile and not complain….and NOT COMPETE.

  • g

    Aint THAT the truth……

  • g

    Yes look around you at any truckstop…there is your replacement the Spanish Speaking mexican…..in fact the industry HOPES we will all quit…..and they can use these LOW PAID invaders.

  • g

    Once they get all the Drivers to QUIT and Retire….they will Petition the Gov to allow the use of FOREIGN LABOR….the mexican of course……LOW PAID foreigners is really what they want….they HOPE we all quit.

  • jojo

    I plan on shutting down to vote. I’ll be down a couple of days before and after even if I cast an early ballot.
    Isn’t Election Day the first Tuesday in November?

  • jojo

    Maybe our elected officials should wear ankle bracelets for our safety. We wouldn’t want them to reveal any information should they be kidnapped.
    UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE; we would know what dope and whore houses they attend and what back rooms the hide in to be paid off from, oh say, the ATA!

  • Mike Smith

    The way I see it, based on HISTORY, we are heading into a WAR footing. The only thing the people in power understand is ……….

  • Mike Smith

    Shut up fool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Mike Smith

    Our elected officials need to wear microphones so we can hear what they are really saying.

  • Connie Ne

    I will play by the stinkin rules as long as I can then you are on your own.

  • Connie Ne

    I AGREE

  • Mike Smith

    This is exactly what has been, And still is happening!

  • norman ott

    After 38 years of trucking I’ve had enough of the B.S. Out with the old in with the new. Get rid of the older more experienced drivers and replace them with new younger drivers who can be more easily trained to the new way trucking is going. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, anyway I don’t want to learn any. Electronic logs can only hobble the trucking industry. Yes goodbye to trucking as we knew it. I am lucky to have been in trucking when there was freedom of the open road.

  • bigred

    One truck one driver and another bill……I mean JOKE.

  • Michael Szajna

    SHIT POSING AS POLITICIANS

  • http://maddadkeith.smugmug.com/ Keith Birmingham

    If industry pay increases with the mandate it will work. But, it will surely drive those at the edge right on off the cliff.

  • Jimmy the Greek

    I have smoked a hooter with the pilot of a chopper as he was pre fliting the dam thing before we left ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Some of them make less than a J B Hunt driver , i know one that works for chump change only the ones that captian the heavy jets make any money !

  • g

    Make way for the mexicans!! Once they drive all Americans out of trucking they will have Real reason to apply to Gov for H2B Guest Workers…from Meheeco!! and of course they are all natural born CRIMINALS..so all these Monitoring devices and Cameras will be put to Good USE!! I sincerely DO want these GUEST WORKER braceros monitored and Observed……if they crash into an AMERICAN’s vehicle they USUALLY run from the scene like they do in Meheeco!! This way we KNOW who is going to PAY for the DAMAGE these imbiciles will CAUSE. Trucking Interests WANT Americans to QUIT trucking and bring in all LOW PAID foreigners on the VISA PROGRAM….H2B………many trucking companies are using this program already…claiming SHORTAGE OF DRIVERS.

  • Debbie MacLeod

    No one has even addressed: If your E-Log Malfunctions, like my GPS did awhile back and had to buy another, so does the trucker have to shut down until it is repaired or replaced? Another expense! Wasted shopping time. Buy one at the truck stop at a premium expense? Or maybe the PREZ or Ferro owns substanial stock in the E-Log Company. I’m sure the hand is out there somewhere. Find out the relationship between the Lobbiest and Ferro. They just don’t think this crap up. Somebody has a financial interest.

  • N/E Indp O/O

    maybe it might work for you long haulers, but local regional especialy in the mid atlantic /north east no way……..long hours getting loaded/U/L.. heavy traffic and much, much more..we p/u where the long haul dare not go….spend a lot of time sleeping & waiting

  • jpminn

    I have been an O/O for 28 years. I have followed the rules, run legal, do things right. I am so sick and tired of govt. rules and regulations in the name of “safety” that in reality have nothing to do with safety. I have had my fill of govt. intrusions that do NOTHING but cost me money to operate. I am tired of being abused and kicked around by govt. agencies abusing their authority. If EOBR’s and speed limiters become law I am done trucking. They can have my truck and park it up their bueracratic asses. Trucking has become anything but enjoyable with all the govt. intrusions. it is a sad state of affairs.

  • jojo

    May be trucker nonsense but Iv’e always heard that big blue first came up with this junk.

  • jojo

    The corporation puts their box in my truck against my desire and wants me to rent the box from them. They then take my info and sell it to whoever as it belongs to them.
    If I want info I have to buy it, books, education, internet etc.
    If I want to put my belongings on your property I have to pay YOU RENT.
    If I sell your stuff for you I only get a % of the selling price.

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