OOIDA questions agency’s e-log study, says it ignores small carriers

| May 20, 2014

rand mcnally eobr e-log eldThe Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has taken aim at a recent study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that claims there are “clear safety benefit(s)” to using electronic logging devices. 


FMCSA: Study shows lower crash rates with e-logs, but ‘skewed’ to bigger carriers

Electronic logs have a beneficial impact on truck safety, according to a study posted Monday by FMCSA. The agency does, however, say the study is ...

OOIDA says the study lacks relevant data to prove its point that ELDs lower crash rates and lower preventable crash rates. FMCSA said in its study ELDs could lower crash rates by 11.7 percent and lower preventable crash rates by 5.1 percent. The agency’s conclusion is based on the premise that logging devices would boost hours of service compliance, which would reduce fatigue and therefore fatigue-related crashes. 

The agency did note in its study that its data was “skewed” toward larger carriers, and OOIDA says that the study “in no way” represents small- or mid-sized carriers, citing FMCSA’s own figures that show 97 percent of all fleets have 20 trucks or fewer and 90 percent have six trucks or fewer. 

OOIDA also contends that, not only is the data incomplete, it may have errors. “The study’s conclusion is flawed because it included all other types of crashes except those that supposedly would be prevented with electronic logging devices,” says OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.


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OOIDA also points out the report’s researchers admit that there wasn’t enough data to find any safety benefits when comparing DOT-recordable or fatigue-related crashes. Small sample sizes limited the researches’ ability to find a significant difference between trucks with logging devices and those without, FMCSA’s report notes. 

Fewer than 12,000 of the 83,000 crashes between 2008 and 2012 were recordable by the Department of Transportation, says FMCSA in its study, and 987 of those were fatigue-related. OOIDA’s response says the high number of crashes for the study’s sample “a scary concept,” and says that “if true, these carriers do not need ELDs, they need to be removed from the road all together.”

Still, all but one of the participating carriers had low Unsafe Driving BASIC scores, though two did show high a Crash Indictor, according the 2011 CSA data presented in the study.

“The possible changes that hold the most promise in improving highway safety are things like driver training, better working environments, support systems and safe parking,” says Spencer. “We’d like to see well-trained drivers put into trucks instead of unproven technology. It is the hallmark of a bureaucracy to embrace billion-dollar mandates in the name of safety while all but ignoring the absence of even basic driver training for new drivers entering the industry.”

OOIDA’s full review of the study is linked here.

  • bill s

    Yeah good luck with that moron. No way it will ever happen

  • Dave Bradley

    You ARE so full of shit. The only ones that ever had enough “balls” to do a blockade of any type were the farmers. Didn’t really do them any good either.

  • Dave Bradley

    Are you aware that there are some states, most notably california, that require all pick up trucks to be registered as a “commercial vehicle”? Stupid, isn’t it, but then so are you.

  • Allen Hartley

    You DON’T THINK you can falsify logs with elogs? The idea of the elogs is a good one and has some positive sides. I’ve been afflicted with them for over 3 years. That being said, the PROBLEM is the shitty implementation because companies like QualComm are in too big of a hurry to claim compliance and scoop the market share of profits. Look who some of their partners are and the technology they used – Microsoft for hardware, firmware, and software(Think Vista). Who has seen a “good” release of a Microsoft product without at least three service packs (if that can fix it)?

    The administration of the devices sucks too. What business in their right “mind” would allow their IT department to do updates to their production systems while they were in production? They don’t. Scheduled downtime is required and all updates have been thoroughly tested on duplicate systems and PASSED the testing.

    Yet how many times do I look down and see my Qualcomm updating as I’m on duty driving (in production), sometimes rolling up to a scale. I have had 4 times the update trashed my system, luckily not as I was rolling up to a scale. It was so trashed we spent hours trying to get it back up. In the meantime, I have to manually recreate 8 days of paper logs until it’s fixed. 3 times I’ve had to have the entire unit replaced.

    Just last week Qualcomm was doing an update to our company’s servers and crashed them for half the day.

    If you think they’re so great, just take a look at the error logs that are kept. You can see them as a regular user. I collected data for six months and put together a PowerPoint presentation about the problems of the system. Qualcomm likes to blame the “dumb ole’ key turners”, but after I brought things to light our company looked a little closer and found the blame was unjust. They’ve looked at other options.

  • R.Drumm

    Thank you…yes I agree, 3 to 4 weeks of classes does NOT make you a know it all like some think they are in driving an 80.000 lb tractor trailer down our nation’s highways.
    Yes we all have to start somewhere…
    My father had trucks since he came out of the Korean war, I’ve been around trucking all my life and started out in a m.b. model mack straight truck running local p/ups & delivery.
    I then would go with my father on trips and observe and schooled in real driving situations and not a empty parking lot…
    Just saying, schools are about how many students they can certify and shove them into a seat with a so called driver mentor with 6 months experience and now your a proffesional. ..lol…ok….
    It takes many years to get seasoned to know how to condition yourself to be prepared for all that can happen on the road and at shippers and receivers etc etc.
    I see alot of people who have not the mindset to even be on the road alone in a tractor trailer, they can’t even back into a parking space.
    But yet they are cut loose upon society .
    Some people are meant to do this type of job and some are not, like anything else…
    And the term PROFFESIONAL needs to be removed because they have lowered this status to general labor that anybody can do…lmao…

  • bill s

    Certain things can be adjusted but sir but you cannot run 2-3 of them or put white out on the screen etc…. i am sure you know all the tricks but the 10 hr break cannot be fucked with. Now some should listen or read this. IF YOU MOVE YOUR TRUCK BEFORE 10 FULL HOURS NOT 4 AND BACKLOG IT LIKE YOU TOOK THE 10. YOU WILL NOT PICK UP YOUR 11/14!!!!! yes you will have to sit for a full 10 :-( but paper cheat logs are toast and some of you think that you know about it don’t know shit. But you will;-)

  • bill s

    So what. Is that going to stop the mandate? You wish

  • that old school trucker

    Hey Bill , I can see that all you really want to do is call everyone stupid and throw around a lot of hate but I can personally guarantee u that I am safer than most of the e-log drivers on the road . And I operate however I want when I want , that means I sleep when I’m tired and truck when I’m not tired . If I need a nap after 6 hours on the road …. guess what ? … I take a damn nap and if you or anyone in the government thinks that 1 set of rules and laws is right for everyone’s operation you are dead wrong . I am different than you and you are different than other people . Some days I feel great , like I’m on top of the world for 14 hours before I feel like I need some off time . Other days hell I need a nap before I ever get started good . My point is simply this , with an e-log drivers will feel as though they are forced to go right now because their logs are legal right now and if they take a nap they won’t get as much work done that day . Imagine a driver on his 10 hr break , tossing and turning for most of it unable to sleep . Then when he’s good and legal according to the ol e-log he’s gotta go . Not only is his computer telling him he’s legal but he has a dispatcher on his ass and a receiver needing that load on time . Now you tell me : is that driver with those e-logs the safer driver ? Or is it the driver that got up , because he couldn’t sleep , and drove down the highway until he started getting tired before he went back to bed (several hours closer to the consignee) . Who can now sleep at his leisure because he’s only a few hours from where his load needs to be tomorrow ? I know you’ll try to argue and just call me names but the rest of the people who read my post will most likely see my point .

  • Bradley Haack

    The point of the e-log is safety. I’ve been driving for roughly 24 years and I understand that the e-logs are the way of the future in trucking. The rules and regulations are what need to be fixed. The current rules are poorly designed. The 11/10/14 hour rules are the issue.

  • bill. s

    I am old school too. But times are changing. And this world does not give a shit about what a driver wants. And yes i see your point but its called adjusting to it and adapting. Be a “professional driver” not a professional winer. Over half of the industry is electronic now. And getting fewer all the time. You really think a bunch of drivers that mainly want to run illegal is going to be able to change that? And fuck ooida. They are not going to be able to do it either. So you should prob get used to it and adjust or goodbye.

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Technology needs to go back to 1960 and stay there !

  • Jimmy the Greek

    You need to mind your own business ! you drive your truck and let others drive theres ,

  • Jimmy the Greek

    This is America ! if that is what you want go live in north korea with the little short fat guy with the funny hair cut !

  • Dave Bradley

    Reading some of your comments here as well as this one leads me to believe you to be the only moron, as well as an idiot, on this discussion.

  • bigred

    Bill, You sound like the dipshit these big cos. want>>>>A 21 year old steering wheel turner that has nothing, makes nothing, will never have nothing and wants to live in a truck all year long. I call it indoctrination<<<<What do you call it, dumass???? When you get a clue about what this business actually does, feel free to apologize to everyone.

  • bill s

    Why because i am not crying like some of you? Got no reason to complain. Think some of you should find another profession.

  • linus

    In Denmark McDonalds worker is paid $4000/mo. plus 6 weeks paid wacation time. Remember ?-today we know Iraq war was started by politician’s lies- and that was based on” intel/records”, that proves gov’t inability to be correct and unbiased in determination what is good for its citizens. Government became so big, that instead of it working for people -it needs to be supported by the people, and the best way to accomplish that is to create more laws that can be often unintentionally broken- and what’s the best excuse to force it on people ?- safety/security mantra.
    We cannot just fight against single laws aimed at certain groups or unions -we need a leader for the people (and remember that corporation is not a person) to prosper and pursue happiness without big government dictating what’s black and white.

  • jrite

    Bill if you had a brain you would probably be dangerous. As it is you have proven by your post that you are a FN idiot and not someone I want to be on the road with. As I see it your the only one who doesn’t know shit. You must work for FMCSA

  • Dave Nichols

    try comparing the public risk to cmv operators vs millions of every day drivers who drive while fatigued or distacted.
    drag out the known stats on how many people are killed annually by fatiged 4 wheeler drivers. every type person from poor people working 2 or 3 jobs to doctors and police etc.

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  • Melissa Owens

    Well said Dave! All the whole e-log game is, is a transfer of cash from our pockets to theirs. We do not “need” e-babysitters to run our businesses safely & legally. Land of the FREE, not Land of the MONITORED. Oh & bill s- STFU unless you have something positive/productive to say. Your negativity is showing your lemming/sheeple mentality. Look those words up, cuz I’m sure you do not have a clue what they are & since you are both, you should learn them.

  • localnet

    You live in some sort of fantasy land. Running 2 to 3 log books? There will always be bad apples out there, nothing anyone does will stop that. But, ramming a one size fits all set of rules and regulations, with no flexibility, down a very diverse industry like trucking is nothing more than a recipe for disaster.

  • julian

    last time , i checked , i am the driver so i am making a decision , do i drive or i call the night . no regulations will force me to drive ,nor force to stop . IT IS UP TO A DRIVER TO BE RESPONSIBLE . Really I do not care about regulations , IT IS ME TO BE SAFE , so many people depend on ME

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