emfizz.com December 14, 2017

Truckers protest electronic logging device mandate

06 December 2017, 01:01 | Terri Saunders

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Early morning traffic backs up on Interstate 5 during a Jan. 11 snowstorm in Portland Ore. Truck drivers say such conditions combined with limitations on their working hours cost them a lot of money because of their mileage-based pay

The goal is to prevent serious crashes caused by fatigue.

Stephen Dowdy, an Independent truck driver at the rally in Mt Vernon, Illinois expressed his frustration about the Electronic Logging Devices.

"We want our representatives, our government, to hear how we feel", said trucker and protest organizer Shelli Conaway.

"There is a recurring monthly cost from $20 - $50 per truck".

While some drivers welcome the change, others say it's a safety concern by putting exhausted drivers on the roadways.

An ELD tracks the routes trucks take, how fast they go, plus when and for how long a truck stops.

The American Quarter Horse Association is concerned about the impending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, which goes into effect on December 18, 2017. Up until now, drivers have been able to keep a paper log of their activities.

That resolution has been idling in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which is chaired by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. "On paper logs, it costs eight dollars per truck per month to operate a truck on logs right now". They also have been proven susceptible to hacking by the University of MI researchers, which is concerning to them since the device is hooked into the truck's engines, braking system and instrument panel.

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"These guys have 1 to 2 million miles under their belts, and they have clean safety records", he said. "But you have 11 hours of driving you have to do within that 14 hour time period, including getting fuel, and a mandatory 30 minute break". "It causes drivers to be more unsafe because they're losing their driving time on these ELDs, and it's causing them to cut other drivers off, speed through school zones".

During those waits, they watch TV and sleep, resting up to hit the road again.

This creates what Kratz called a "beat the clock" mentality.

"Essentially what it does is it says you have 14 hours to work for your entire day".

The bigger issue, they said, are the rules regulating hours of service. They say it is intrusive, that service fees could run up the price of ELDs, and that forcing drivers to rest when they're not exhausted will make roads less safe.

"This is a violation of our privacy", said Harry Singh, President of the United Independent Truckers of America.

"FMCSA has listened to important feedback from many stakeholder groups, including agriculture, and will continue to take steps to ease the transition to the full implementation of the ELD rule", said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Cathy Gautreaux. "How is that safe?"

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