Doing the ELD dance

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Let’s talk about rules.

The FMCSA is set to publish the ever-looming ELD rule officially next week, and in true FMCSA fashion, they have included exemptions. That’s right, folks, safety has exemptions.

According to the article James J. wrote yesterday, “The rule requires drivers currently required to keep paper logs to use ELDs, with a few exceptions.” It goes on to say, “The mandate, however, will not apply to drivers of vehicles built before the year 2000.”

Excuse me. What?

Am I missing something here? Does this indicate that drivers who happen to own old trucks are better suited to keep their hours of service on paper? I mean, what in the doodle hell does the year make of the truck have to do with the driver’s hours of service? If Jane has six apples and Jerome has nine cats, does the raccoon in the bushes equal twelve? Because, FMCSA — that’s the correct answer.

popsicle memeI get that there may be issues in connectivity in older trucks, be here’s the solution to that: don’t publish the damn rule until there’s technology to support it across the board, in all commercial vehicles that may be in operation, without a prohibitive cost to the owner of that vehicle. If there’s a gadget that can track how many steps, burps and leaps I take a day, and compile this information for a health-care professional at the end of a month, then the technology to track older, fully mechanical trucks has to be close.

Wait for it.

There are also rumors of a last-minute amendment in the rule that says if you can prove you have six toes on your right foot, you don’t have to run a log book at all. Of course, this will require an exception to be made on your medical cert, so documentation will be required from a specialist, stating your sixth toe causes no obstruction of the brake pedal before any such consideration will be made. Just ask for form 1290-6T and have your attorney, next of kin and bagger at the local grocery fill them out in triplicate, so you can carry a copy with you at all times, even to the bathroom at truck stops. As a matter of fact, having such information tattooed on your forehead is highly recommended, because the Feds design this stuff to save time and money, and nobody needs to fool with paper anymore – it’s so archaic.

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What is this, ancient Egypt? Is that a papyrus scroll, or your medical card? Gah.

“Drivers, while not required to keep paper logs, still must keep a maximum of eight supporting documents, either electronic or paper, for every 24-hour period that includes on-duty time.”

“If a driver submits to a carrier more than eight documents for a 24-hour period, the carrier must keep the first and last document for the day and six others. If fewer than eight are submitted, carriers must retain all of them.”

Also, dental records of any magical unicorn struck during hours of service, even in parking lots, must be submitted to the Grand Wizard on the third Thursday of every January. Because this is easier and more streamlined than a pesky log book. Pen and paper? Pffft. Why don’t you just whip out your quill and scribe me some lines?

But wait, there’s more.

This endeavor is estimated to eventually save the gubmint a billion, which they immediately plan on investing in studies to confirm the validity and necessity of the gubmint spending a billion dollars on confirmation studies. Needless to say, Virginia Tech is thrilled beyond measure, and looking forward to installing the Dubai of college laboratories to conduct the studies.

When applicable, I leave you with the disclaimer that this post may contain filthy lies, and this is definitely considered an applicable post. I laugh because it’s always better to laugh than cry, especially when you got the “What the hell?” face from hubs for spending $30 on a tube of mascara because your sister-in-law had a makeup party and it was the cheapest thing you could get – but that’s another story. For now, my eyelashes are safe, and if you have a truck made before the year 2000, so are your paper log books.