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Electronic Logging System now mandatory for motor carriers

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The U.S Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implements a congressionally-mandated electronic logging device rule for motor carriers Monday.

Motor carrier drivers in the past had to log their hours on the road with a paper and pen in a book. The final publication of the Electronic Logging Device rule was published two years ago.

It gives carriers time to transition into today's now mandatory use of the Electronic Logging Device.

Joseph DeLorenzo is the Director of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance with the FMCSA.

He says the ELD will allow better accuracy when doing those logs.

Michael Gully with Gully Transportation says he’s concerned about safety.

"The things that we are feeling already from our drivers is more pressure on time, more uptight about what every little thing takes. Five-minute delay they are on the phone and kind of anxious to get moving which is underlining a safety concern,” says Gully.
“The Electronic Logging Devices are linked directly to the engine and to the vehicle and allows the driver very easy ability to manage their log and hours of service in accordance with the existing regulations,” says DeLorenzo.

But Gully says the Electronic Logging Systems aren't the problem.

He says the problem is the change of Hours of Service (HOS) 13 years ago.

"The laws that came in were actually politically driven and not safety driven and took away the major stipulations that rushed the drivers. What we lost in 2004 with the lawsuit by the anti-truck groups was the ability to split the sleeper break," says Gully.

Gully says the current hours of service on duty are 14 hours with a maximum of 11 hours of drive time.

"We deliver loads in the morning and we typically have a gap in-between the delivery time and pick up time and the drivers would utilize that time to split their sleeper and take rest periods. It doesn’t count to relieve their clock the clock is still ticking,” says Gully.

A 90-day temporary waiver is now in place for transporters of agriculture commodities. Violations cited between now and April 1, 2018 will not count against a carrier's Safety Measurement System Scores. Trucks that fail to pass the ELD after April 1, 2018 will be placed as out-of-service.

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