A familiar friend to drivers everywhere is getting a face-lift.
The paper log book, the beloved cab companion that drivers have been required to fill out since the 1930s, is going digital. This week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced its final ruling, clearing way for the digital devices. The ruling requires electronic logging devices (ELDs) to be installed in all commercial motor vehicles by December, 2017. The rule will affect more than 3 million truck and bus drivers and it meets requirements outlined in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The four basic components of the new rule include:
- A two-year window for all truck and bus drivers to replace their conventional log books with the ELDs.
- Guidelines for what ELDs systems will be acceptable in fleet vehicles moving forward.
- Procedures to eliminate supplemental supporting documents including fuel receipts, shipping information and other documents drivers may accumulate while on the road.
- Security protocols protecting drivers from solicitation or harassment caused by the data shared through the electronic system.
Notable exceptions Not all drivers will be required to make the transition to ELDs. Drivers are not subject to ELDs if they: use time cards, drive vehicles older than the year 2000, or conduct driveaways-towaways where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
Driver reception mixed
Safety administration officials estimate the move to electronic log books will save 26 lives per year and prevent more than 500 injuries. Drivers across the industry, however, have offered mixed reactions.
Many drivers are excited for the arrival of ELDs. And some who are already using the technology report they are glad to leave their trusty old log books behind.
Drivers who oppose the change, however, argue they are quite capable of knowing when they need to pull off the road for the evening without having to consult a device. Many are also concerned about the added costs associated with installing ELD systems in each vehicle. The projected expense could be as much as $2,000 per truck.
Let your voice be heard
What are your thoughts on ELDs? Is this good for the industry or not? We'd love to hear from you so please leave a note in the comments below and let us know your thoughts on this new technology.
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