Love ‘em or hate ‘em, electronic logging devices dominated most topics of conversation throughout the industry this year. And even though the mandate is live, it hasn’t stopped continued protests from small businesses and independent trucking groups who fear the mandate will hinder their business practices.
The industry as a whole seems to be waiting with bated breath to see what challenges lie ahead when enforcement really begins in 2018. But for now, here is American Trucker’s countdown of the top 10 most read stories in 2017.
Follow the links to see the original stories.
No. 10: Dash cam of the week: It’s all downhill from here
Why, you might ask, would a highway patrol car in Mexico be driving down the freeway with both doors open? Well, whether it’s standard procedure or improvisation by the troopers, the point was to set up a rolling road block behind a runaway rig that’s the unwitting star of this Dash Cam of the Week.
No. 9: ELD rule probably here to stay, despite Congressional rider
Despite passage of a measure requiring additional study on the pending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate by a Congressional committee, chances of a major overhaul of that rule or even its stoppage is being characterized as a long shot at best – especially after the Supreme Court declined to hear a legal challenge to it.
No. 8: ELD mandate will increase costs
In 2015, the FMCSA issued a mandate that all commercial interstate vehicles install an electronic logging device to ensure compliance with hours-of-service laws. Those laws, and the subsequent ELD mandate, are going to be imposed on most long-haul truckers.
The agency has stated that the ELD mandate was put in place as part of an effort to reduce the number of accidents involving a commercial vehicle, which contribute to a significant percentage of all vehicle accident fatalities and are often caused by driver fatigue, inattention, or speeding.
Read more: ELD mandate will increase costs
No. 7: OOIDA leads renewed push to delay ELD mandate
The most polarizing topic in trucking today — electronic logging devices, or ELDs — isn't losing any steam.
With the deadline less than 12 weeks away for most commercial truck drivers to be using ELDs in recording their hours of service, groups representing owner-operators, small trucking companies, agricultural and livestock trucking and others reiterated their calls for a delay. The delays they sought would put off ELD mandate's Dec. 18, 2017 deadline for one or two more years – via either an appeal either to Congress and President Trump or the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
No. 6: OOIDA warns of impending ELD enforcement ‘confusion’
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) tried to get more state-level attorney generals to follow Indiana’s lead in requesting a delay of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate before it went into effect December 18 – largely due to the “confusion” the mandate could create regarding enforcement obligations, stressed Todd Spencer, the group’s executive vice president.
No. 5: The ELD delay: Will it happen?
Efforts to legislatively delay the electronic logging device mandate by two years will have to wait until Congress return from its summer recess in September, but for now, at least, the chances of the delay succeeding seem to be remote at best.
At the 2017 in.sight user conference and exposition, Eric Witty, vice president of product management for PeopleNet, said the bill introduced by U.S. Representative Brian Babin (TX-36) to delay imposition of the ELD mandate – dubbed H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017 – is only "step two in a 12 step process.”
Read more: The ELD delay: Will it happen?
No. 4: ELD mandate enforcement begins
Starting Dec. 18, the “soft enforcement” period for the electronic logging device mandate began, as roadside enforcement personnel throughout the U.S. start documenting violations of the rule, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration (CVSA).
“At a jurisdiction’s discretion, they may issue citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers operating vehicles without a compliant ELD,” noted CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney in a statement.
Read more: ELD mandate enforcement begins
No. 3: Trucking divided over ELD effort
A controversial bill introduced by U.S. Representative Brian Babin (TX-36) sought to delay implementation of the electronic logging device mandate for two years created sharp divisions within the trucking industry.
The Bill – H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017 – would have provided an additional two-year delay before mandatory implementation of ELDs on all U.S. freight-hauling trucks scheduled for December 18.
Read more: Trucking divided over ELD effort
No. 2: Goodyear asks: Are you ready for Roadcheck?
With the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck annual truck enforcement program coming up, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. reminded fleets and owner-operators to schedule tire and truck inspections.
With nearly 200 locations throughout the United States, including 45 on-highway facilities, Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Centers (CTSC) offered yard checks, Goodyear Trailer-Readiness inspections and other services to help ensure that tires and trucks were in optimal working order.
Read more: Goodyear asks: Are you ready for Roadcheck?
No. 1: Nationwide anti-ELD protests to begin Dec. 4
A grassroots coalition of owner-operators and drivers opposed to the electronic logging device mandate is planned a series of protests at over 40 locations across the country on Dec. 4. The 19,000-member group “ELD or Me” originally aimed to hold protests in every state and Charlie Claburn, one of the organizers for the group’s national effort, noted that larger states will have multiple rallies.
Read more: Nationwide anti-ELD protests to begin Dec. 4