‘Game-set-match’ for ELD mandate, time for truckers to consider compliance options

| June 14, 2017

The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a death blow to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s legal challenge to the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate. With the high court’s rejection, the lawsuit will go no further.

Though there are efforts underway to engage Congress on the issue, spearheaded in part by OOIDA, the issue is likely a nonstarter with lawmakers, multiple sources have told Overdrive in recent months. Just five years ago, a Republican-led Congress required the DOT and its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to develop the ELD rule. The mandate also has support from Democrats. Such bi-partisan support doesn’t bode well for any moves to strip the mandate or delay it.

Given this week’s news from the Supreme Court and the likely reluctance of Congress — or the White House, whose DOT has shown no interest in bucking Congress’ orders — to touch the issue, owner-operators would be wise to transition from hoping for a reversal to considering compliance options.

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“I believe this is game-set-match,” says Joe Rajkovacz, head of regulatory affairs for the Western States Trucking Associations and former owner-operator. WSTA “has moved to making sure our members are educated on this issue and we’re encouraging them to not wait until the last minute,” he says.

Rajkovacz notes his group opposed the mandate. It filed opposition comments in 2014 during the public comment period. The “reality now,” Rajkovacz says, “is any optimism that this can be overturned is false hope.”

“Many small business trucking companies have waited till the outcome of this case to consider their pathway to compliance. My advice is to not wait until the last minute. There many vendors out there, and the technology could present a challenge [to learn],” he adds.

OOIDA is encouraging members to call their representatives in Congress to address the issue. It said Monday it is “extremely disappointed” in the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the case.

Overdrive explored owner-operator compliance options in depth this year. See the links below to learn about ELD suppliers, types of ELDs, pricing, required spec’s and more.

Inside the black box: A guide to ELDs

FMCSA expects to begin enforcement of its ELD mandate Dec. 18, the scheduled date by which owner-operators must be using electronic logs. There are dozens ...

ELDs: How devices and drivers track duty status changes

As with paper logs, drivers using electronic logs are in control of all duty status inputs. The exception is the drive line, which functions automatically ...

ELD guide: How the two basic types of logging devices work

BYOD (“bring your own device”) systems allow buyers to purchase their own hardware for the driver interface, such as an owner-operator using an app on ...

Modern ELDs do more than track hours of service

From built-in dashcams to scanners and transportation management software (TMS) system integration capabilities, electronic logging devices do more, often a lot more, than merely provide ...

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