Beginning on January 1, 2018, all trucking companies must be in full compliance with the new federal rule requiring all drivers to log their hours on electronic logging devices (ELD). According to regulators, ELDs will make the trucking industry safer and enhance driver productivity. Freight services in Minnesota are having to adjust to the new regulations.
For freight service operators, many aspects of the new e-log requirements may come as a surprise. While the rule has been highly publicized, the details of its contents are not quite so well known. Here are some of the things that everyone in the trucking industry should be aware of prior to the end of the year:
- Knowing who must comply: Any driver who files record-of-duty status will be required to comply with the ELD rule. Short-haul drivers and others who are exempt from hours-of-service rules do not have to comply with the new mandate. Some operators may be restructuring their routes in order to accommodate the mandate.
- Technological requirements: Drivers must be equipped with a device that allows them to transfer their data to law enforcement. This can be done via smartphone, Bluetooth transmitter or email. E-log devices must be synchronized with the truck’s engine, and must be FSMCA-certified to be in compliance with the rule.
- Avoiding harassment: ELD technology will protect drivers from working more than the legally allowed 70 hours per week. The systems also provide an easy way for drivers to file complaints against carriers, brokers and shipping companies that ask them to drive while they are sick or fatigued. Operators that ask drivers to work more than 70 hours a week may be fined as much as $16,000.
- Drivers can edit: Under the new rule, drivers will be in charge of editing their own logs. Back offices may send edits to the driver’s log, but they will ultimately be up to the driver’s discretion for approval. This puts the onus for correct reporting on the driver, rather than on the operator.
- Enhanced safety: ELDs will allow freight services in Minnesota to keep potentially fatigued or ill drivers off the road and increase the overall safety of their entire shipping operation. The e-logs will also provide regulators with more detailed data sets, allowing them to make better-informed policy decisions moving forward.
While the implementation of the e-log requirement may be challenging for some trucking service operators, it will ultimately lead to more accurate reporting and enhanced road safety. As trucking companies move to greater compliance, businesses that rely on the industry should be aware of the ongoing changes taking place within the transportation sector.
K-Way Express, Inc. provides exceptional transportation services to communities in and around Minnesota. We also offer pickup and delivery services to 48 states. As a fully licensed transportation brokerage company, we offer dry trucks, refrigerated transportation services and specialized equipment. To learn more about the freight services in Minnesota that we offer, contact a member of our knowledgeable sales team today!