We’re still a long way from the paperless office, but the paperless cab may be upon us. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently adopted a new rule that requires drivers of interstate commercial buses and trucks to record their hours using electronic logging devices (ELDs). According to the administration, widespread use of these devices, also known as electronic onboard recorders, will reduce hours-of-service violations by hampering efforts to misrepresent time put in on the job—and that reduction will result in fewer crashes and fatalities.
The FMCSA claims in a press release that safety advocates, members of Congress and carriers themselves back the move to ELDs. But some drivers have their doubts. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which successfully brought suit against a previous iteration of the rule in question, says that the safety benefits touted by FMCSA may not materialize.
Whatever the reality, a story on Truckinginfo.com reveals that industry insiders generally welcome at least one component of the new rule: certification. That is, carriers will be required to use devices that have been certified by a third party to be in compliance with the FMCSA regulations. Up till now, carriers themselves have provided this assurance. The Truckinginfo piece quotes Joel Beal, owner of JBA Telematics, a self-described “big proponent” of the change: “The fleet guy is the one who gets the ticket. It’s unfair to mandate a device and not control the devices that come on the market.”
A representative of XRS, a Minnesota-based company that provides electronic monitoring solutions to the industry, also approves of the certification measures. “The automated logging is a bunch of software,” Christian Schenk, senior vice president product strategy and market growth, said in the article. “The key component is the company behind the device. The software is the easy part; the hard part is staying up on the regulations and changing rules.”
If your company could use help keeping on top of regulations, STP has recently published an update to its publication Federal Regulatory Training Requirements Compliance Guide and also publishes the following related guides: