ELD Mandate causing controversy among truck drivers

GAS CITY, Ind. (WANE) – A new device designed to keep track of truck drivers is causing controversy. The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate goes into effect for the trucking industry Dec. 18.

The idea is to keep truckers from making false logs by tracking how long they have been driving by using the device instead of paper logs. There is concern that drivers stay behind the wheel longer in order to keep freight schedules on time or they work extra hours to make up for lost time.

Truck drivers, by law, can drive up to 11 hours during a period of 14 consecutive hours. Then they are required to be off duty for at least 10 hours.

John Allen sat in his first truck when he was in diapers. Allen comes from a family where many generations drove trucks for a living.

“Trucking has always been in our family,” he said. “I mean I have uncles, cousins… everybody, we drive trucks. It’s in our blood.”

For years, Allen has logged his hours by hand but next month it will be done automatically by an electronic device. Since truckers are only allowed to be on the road a certain number of hours, this could mean Allen and other truckers will not be able to get their destinations on time, or they could lose money trying.

Allen said the mandate won’t only hurt truckers, it could also hurt consumers by driving up the cost of of transporting goods. It is such a concern, Allen and others went to Washington to lobby for change and pressure President Trump to sign an executive order to stop it.

“I hope they understood what we were staying,” said Allen. “I hope they took this mandate to heart.”

Allen said there are some exceptions to the mandate. Truck models built in 1999 or earlier are not required to have ELDs and truck drivers that travel within 100 mile radius are exempt.

Newschannel 15 contacted our local lawmakers. A spokesperson for Senator Todd Young said he has spoken with Hoosiers in the logistics industry about the pending Electronic Logging Device Mandate and will continue to relay their comments to the Administration to ensure Hoosier voices are heard in Washington.

A spokesman for Senator Joe Donnelly said the senator is aware of the Electronic Logging Device requirement and believes that the safety of Hoosier families and drivers on the road is an essential component of the efficient transportation system that keeps our economy moving.

Congressman Jim Banks issued the following statement:
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“Indiana truckers are a vital component in the Hoosier economy. We need to reduce burdens on truck drivers, not increase them. I am aware of concerns by those in the independent trucking community about the ELD mandate, and that is why I support delaying its implementation for two years. This will give the Trump administration time to review this Obama-era rule and ensure it does not burden independent truck owners and small businesses at the expense of larger trucking companies.”