Fleets have been preparing their vehicles for the ELD Mandate which is to go into effect on December 18, 2017, but recent actions by members of Congress are causing confusion.
Although there are still a wide range of questions and concerns regarding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) HOS rules, the issue of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate had
Suddenly, there is a push to either delay the mandate or repeal it completely. Truckinginfo.com posted an article last week detailing these efforts. According to the article, the House Transportation Committee voted 31-20 to send to the full house an appropriations bill that contained a directive to delay or repeal the mandate. Another directive called for a review of the ELD suppliers’ technology platforms.
The reason behind this move, according the Congressional committee was to address the burden the mandate is having on smaller carriers and owner-operators, noting not only the cost of the equipment but also the complexities of compliance and training.
If you’re thinking this means you don’t have to complete your fleet’s transition to become ELD-compliant, not so fast. This move is not supported by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) which points to the mandate as a move that will “ensure compliance with hours-of-service and improve safety.” A statement of support for the ELD mandate was also made by the president, Steve Williams and vice president, Kevin Knight, of the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (aka the Trucking Alliance) which stated, “There’s no valid reason to delay this much-needed truck safety measure.” Furthermore, the statement notes that ‘the ELD rule “will improve highway safety and lower the number of large truck accidents”
In effect, the way legislation is passed and the way it occurs, this may be more of a political move than one that actually will pass and here’s why. We’re looking at a mandate that will take effect in five months. To change that, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill has to be passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President by mid-October. That’s hardly likely and that’s just the first step. As the article informs us, If this happens, then both houses of Congress have to pass a separate bill (which then the President has to sign) “directing the Department of Transportation to delay or reverse the mandate.”
Suggestion: If you haven’t already made your fleet ELD-compliant, you should probably continue on making it so. But…stay tuned.