NASHVILLE, TN. Efforts to legislatively delay the electronic logging device (ELD) 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.
Here 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.”
He also only gives this legislative effort only a 5% chance of succeeding.
“The chances of something getting done by the [ELD mandate] deadline [of Dec. 18] are pretty slim,” he explained during a panel discussion. “What’s unfortunate is that it will create more doubt and uncertainty.”
Chris Spear, president & CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) trade group, also does not expect the ELD mandate to be delayed.
"This is not a 'wild-eyed' proposal; it's been legislated, debated, and litigated and the FMCSA says it remains on track to enforce it," he explained during a speech at the conference. "This [ELD mandate] is on the books and will be enforced."
But David Wangler, president of TMW Systems and now also president of the newly formed Trimble Transportation Enterprise division, which comprises TMW Systems and ALK Technologies, understands why there is sizable resistance on the part of many truckers to the idea of being forced to use ELDs instead of paper logbooks.
“This is really not a technology issue at all; it’s about removing the flexibility and freedom of the job,” he explained during a sit-down with reporters at the event.
“There are a lot of jobs you can do for more money than driving a truck, but the freedom is why people do it,” Wangler said. “Now they feel more freedom is being taken away.”