They will soon keep hours of operation in electronic logs for truckers. The FMCSA took another step by introducing its proposal for the electronic logging devices to become reality.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) believes the mandate will reduce the hours of service (HOS) violations by making it more difficult for truckers to misrepresent their time behind the wheel and the time required for rest between driving hours.
The electronic logs for truckers (e-logs) records hours of service records automatically. E-logs data include days on duty, start times, the amount of drive time since the last rest period, sleeper berth time, off-duty time, cumulative drive times within an 8-day period and total distance covered within a 24-hour period.
The paper logs are going the way of the IBM Selectric typewriter. Times are changing in the trucking industry. Many truck drivers will go kicking and screaming.
The smaller trucking companies and owner-operators are very vocal about the coming regulations. They claim that requiring drivers to use them will impose unfair financial burdens on small businesses.
Others praise the e-logs for making record-keeping easier for the driver and office personnel. The data is electronically transmitted and stored. The information is retrieved at any time and printed out.
The e-logs do not change the rules. The regulations remain the same.
Some drivers see the e-logs to make their job easier. It is a new way of record keeping. These drivers have already switched to smart phones, iPads, and laptops. Much of the entry is automatic and in the event of blue-lights, the log is up-to-date.
The Federal Register will publish the new proposal. Drivers, owners and the public will have two months to submit comments. The agency will review the comments and publish the final rule. I expect this to happen later this year. Truckers will have two years to comply.
The electronic logs regulations will require specific information which can easily be made available to truck inspectors. The basic information includes the date, time, location, engine hours, mileage, driver, vehicle identification and carrier identification.
Will the new trucking regulations improve roadway safety or is this just another wasteful government law? Only time will tell
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