The clock has started for comments on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed electronic log mandate.

The proposal will be published in the Federal Register Friday March 28, starting a two-month period when the agency will accept comments.

At the core of the 256-page proposal is the requirement that interstate drivers who fill out paper logs must eventually switch to electronic logs.

It also covers technical standards for the electronic logging devices (ELDs) and the supporting documents that regulators need to confirm compliance. And it sets requirements to ensure that electronic logs are not used to harass drivers.

After the agency reviews the comments and publishes a final rule, perhaps later this year, carriers will have two years to comply. Carriers that already have recording devices that meet current specifications would have an additional two years to bring their devices into compliance with the new specifications.

The comments will spell out the detailed reactions of the various constituents.

While larger trucking companies generally support ELDs, they may have concerns about some of the technical details, the supporting documents requirements or the agency’s approach to grandfathering devices already in use.

Owner-operators have long opposed ELDs and may not be satisfied by the agency’s approach to harassment prevention.