Trucking Industry Worries New Rule Could Raise Costs

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The new, federal electronic logging device (ELD) mandate took effect this month. Some say it will reduce the number of miles trucks can travel per day, and older drivers say they would rather retire than adopt ELDs. Others say the rule will make shipping goods more expensive and complicated as the number of trucks available to hire will be lower. In November, the average cost to hire a big rig in the spot market soared 24 percent year-over-year, according to online freight marketplace DAT Solutions LLC. Regulators say paper logs are easier to falsify, and ELDs are likely to reduce violations of hours on the road limitations. Regulators say drivers caught without ELDs after Dec. 18 may face fines, and starting in April could be removed from the road. Larger carriers have had ELDs for years, but as of early December, about 25 percent of smaller fleets still had not installed the devices, according a survey by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted some exceptions, including a 90-day waiver for trucks moving agricultural commodities. The agency is reviewing other requests and "is working with operators to ease the transition," a spokesperson says.

Wall Street Journal (12/15/17) Smith, Jennifer

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