The American trucking industry has always relied on pen and paper for the logging of driver hours. Truck drivers would fill out their paperwork by hand, writing out logged hours and filing them with the company. However, December 18 is a deadline that will change the face of the trucking industry. Electronic log devices (ELDs) are becoming the new standard for trucking companies. These devices automatically log driver hours when they surpass a certain speed limit. Drivers will no longer be logging their numbers by hand—the trucks will be logging the hours for them.
The mandated use of ELDs is heavily disputed among trucking companies. Some major trucking corporations are ready for the ELD mandate to come as tracking hours by paper is costly for companies with thousands of employees. However, other trucking companies are not happy about the change. Many of these trucking companies fear that the ELDs will end up running their operations out of business. According to one sociologist, small businesses are claiming they are not fair.
"Aside from the equipment costs, however, the arguments the little guys are making against the ELD mandate, like privacy, are falling flat. Why? Because nobody wants to admit the elephant in the room — it’s not electronic monitoring of hours of service that is the problem, it’s the HOS rules themselves."
At this point in time, the federal mandate for trucking companies is that truck drivers can only drive for 11 hours a day within a 14 hour workday. This means that drivers can be on the roads for 11 hours, but can additionally work 3 extra hours outside of driving (waiting for a shipment, dropping off a shipment, etc.) Between these workdays, a driver must be given a 10-hour rest period. Unfortunately, some trucking companies and drivers do not always follow these rules.
How ELDs Should Prevent Accidents
With the current pen and paper method of logging hours, some truck companies will sometimes pay truck drivers under the table for their driving. Rather than stop at 11 hours, truck drivers will end up driving past the 11 hour-regulation—resulting in overworked drivers on the road. With the new ELD system, it will be significantly more difficult for truck drivers to drive over the 11 hour limit. This will mean less money for truck drivers who are willing to break federal law—but, more importantly, less accidents due to overworked and tired truck drivers. This law is a win for trucking regulators and for the safety of automobile operators throughout the United States.
Truck Accidents Will Still Happen. We Can Help.
ELDs are a step in the right direction in regards to commercial trucking safety; however, accidents are still bound to happen. If you or a loved one was in a commercial trucking accident and you need legal help, contact our truck accident attorneys as soon as possible. At Arnold & Itkin, we can fight for your hospital bills, your car repairs, and your emotional wellbeing. We can fight for you! Call (888) 490-0442 for a free consultation concerning your case.