A coalition consisting of the  Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and 30 other transportation-related associations has been formed to back proposed legislation that would delay implementation of the electronic logging device mandate for two years. As of now, the ELD rule is set to go into effect on Dec. 18-- less than 12 weeks from today.

Industries represented in the coalition include agriculture, pyrotechnics, utility contracting, livestock, and several others that could be negatively impacted by the mandate. OOIDA remains the most vocal group in  trucking in its opposition to mandating electronic logging devices.

“The electronic logging device mandate is written so broadly that it has far-reaching implications well beyond the traditional trucking industry,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, in a Sept. 27 statement about the coalition.

The group supports H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, proposed by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) that would delay the ELD mandate for two years. Earlier in September, another bill proposed by Babin that included an amendment to defund the ELD mandate (H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018) was voted down on the house floor.

The coalition believes the mandate should be delayed until the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration addresses what it says are numerous unresolved issues identified by impacted stakeholders. The group’s concerns include the certification of electronic loggging devices, connectivity problems in remote areas of the country, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and the ability of law enforcement to access data.

The coalition also contends that the ELD mandate will impact stakeholders with costs of more than $2 billion while failing to improve safety, productivity, or profitability. OOIDA said that requiring electronic monitoring devices on commercial vehicles does not advance safety since they are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording compliance with hours-of-service regulations.

In response, David Heller, vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association, told HDT that sticking to the Dec. 18 deadline will give the industry time to generate enough data to fix any problems with ELD implementation - including detention time, truck parking, and hours of service compliance.

“TCA members have taken a proactive approach to finding a compliance tool that worked well for their fleet operations. Rather than delaying the inevitable, our members support an approach to ELDs that can and will positively address issues that have plagued this industry for decades,” stated Heller. “Insisting that this rule be delayed any longer only continues to accept these problems as status quo rather than truly taking a step forward in addressing them.” 

The Trucking Alliance (Alliance for Driver Safety & Security) also commented on the coalition’s contentions, stating that ELDs would improve driver safety and improve law enforcement’s ability to maintain compliance.

“Electronic logging devices, or ELDs, will unquestionably reduce truck driver fatigue. ELDs will reduce large truck accidents on our nation’s highways. ELDs will make it easier for law enforcement to verify how many hours a driver has been behind the wheel,” stated Lane Kidd, managing director of The Trucking Alliance.

“Congress has voted numerous times and as recently as a few days ago, to require ELDs. The federal courts have upheld their congressional action," he continued. "Yet OOIDA and other groups continue to ignore these facts, suggesting the rule may not happen and are now taking their members perilously close to having their trucks taken out of service for not installing them.”

The American Trucking Associations echoed many of the same opinions of the coalition effort, saying that while there could be kinks to work out with ELD implementation, fleets should assume that the ELD mandate will not be delayed.

"Congress has passed the ELD requirement three times over the last five years," ATA spokesperson Sean McNally told HDT in a statement. "This issue has been legislated, promulgated, and litigated. It has been decided, and those still in denial would be best served complying with federal law than making excuses to exceed their hours of service limits and putting the motoring public at risk."

“As it stands today, no driver or carrier who has been honestly logging their time will need to change anything other than the manner which they record their hours of service – moving from inaccurate paper logs to more precise electronic ones," he added. "Complaints about the underlying hours-of-service rules may have merit, but that is a separate issue from complying with the current rules.”

In addition to OOIDA, these associations make up the anti-mandate coalition:

Agricultural Retailers Association

National Aquaculture Association

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

American Pipeline Contractors Association

National Corn Growers Association

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

American Pyrotechnics Association

National Cotton Council

New England Fuel Institute

Associated Equipment Distributors

National Electrical Contractors Association

North American Wood Pole Council

Distribution Contractors Association

National Federation of Independent Business

Petroleum Marketers Association of America

Livestock Exporters Association of the USA

National Grain and Feed Association

Power & Communication Contractors Association

Lucas Oil Products

National Ground Water Association

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

Mid-West Truckers Association

National Hay Association

SikhsPAC

National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Motorists Association

Southern Pressure Treaters’ Association

National Association of Small Trucking Companies

National Precast Concrete Association

United States Cattlemen’s Association

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