Truckers note business as usual as ELD mandate’s out-of-service enforcement date arrives

Updated Apr 8, 2018

The first day of so-called “hard enforcement” of the ELD mandate came and went with little fanfare, based on a sampling of drivers’ online comments. In an interesting quirk of the calendar, the day coincided with April Fool’s Day and Easter Sunday, the day of the week itself one where truck-enforcement activity is characteristically light.

As noted by Overdrive in late March, the U.S. DOT and its enforcement partner the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will begin putting truckers out of service for 10 hours if they’re required by regulations to have an ELD and aren’t running one. After the 10-hour period is up, drivers can continue to deliver their load on paper logs, though they must be compliant by the time they’re dispatched on their next load or be subject to another 10-hour out-of-service order.

April 1 also marked the date by which ELD violations would begin counting against carriers’ scores in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

Most owner-operators responding Monday to an evening request for comments posted to Overdrive‘s Facebook page noted nothing out of the ordinary in general terms from enforcement.

“Haven’t noticed a thing” different, wrote Jeff Clark.

Glen Murphy concurred: “Haven’t seen anything out of the normal.”

To that point, noted Rick Underwood, “All of the California scales have been open for business today” on his routes through the state, known for its busy inspectors.

Several owner-ops and drivers took the opportunity to weigh in with either opposition to or support for the new reality that is the ELD mandate. A round-up follows below.

Renee Peek-Wiggins Crabtree: We haul livestock and are not required to use ELDs yet. We are working to get hours of service changed to accommodate everyone. That’s the real problem, more so than ELDs. 

Crabtree went on to espouse the view that ELDs nonetheless constituted a “big brother” invasion of privacy.

Ben Krull: I don’t drive a truck for a living but do deal with drivers every day. I hate the new law, because now all of the drivers are in a hurry and impatient.

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Andy Brant: The same people complaining about [ELDs] are the same ones who are trying to bend the rules. The hours of service are the exact same now as they’ve been for a number of years now, and the government only sees the hours of service if you or your company get an audit [or inspection]. Every industry has a set of standards and rules for that specific industry, and you know them when you sign up. This isn’t changing those rules — it is enforcing people to be in compliance with the ones already set in place. This will actually make it easier for you to do your job correctly and by the law, if you take five minutes out of your day to learn it. Let’s face it, if you’re reading this you’re using the same type of technology as e-logs, so “the technology is too difficult” can’t be an excuse.

Missi Howard I got my class a license in 2015 so all I know is ELD. I miss the good old days when the cheaters could fill out their comic books any way they wanted and just keep driving. There was so much more parking then. ELDs have created a real parking crisis for me and I hate it.

And, Howard added, given she’s known nothing other than e-logs for hours recording, “if I ever have to do paper logs in an emergency I’m in trouble.”

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