Truckers protest electronic logging device mandate

Published: Dec. 4, 2017 at 5:12 PM MST
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Truckers gathered early Monday morning at truck stops across the country to protest electronic logging devices and a mandate to implement them starting Dec. 18.

Independent truckers and owner operators met early Monday to protest the mandate of electronic logging devices and to support the bill HR 3282 proposed by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, which would delay the mandate.

"No matter how safe their driving record and everything are, for millions of safe miles for some of these 30 plus year veterans, have to put this in their truck to track them," said rally leader and truck owner and operator Mandi Jo Pinheiro.

ELDs are connected to the truck's engine and replaces paper logbooks to record drivers compliance with hours of service requirements.

"Driving at night with all of the animals, the deer and the snow, and the weather and all of that stuff. They make it so you have to take that 10-hour break, and then go to sleep for 10 hours. I don't want to be driving out there all night long, not in this kind of weather," said truck driver Marvin Burns.

Other drivers are concerned with why the need to track their movements is of importance to the government.

"They're collecting information about me, my privacy is not being honored. Why do I have to have that? I've been running paper logs for 15 years," said Jason King.

Being able to track trucks may work ideally for large commercial trucking companies, but local independent businesses say they'll struggle.

"We don't need them. We don't need to track our trucks, we know where our trucks are at all times," Pinheiro said.

In Congressman Babin's bill he claims three areas of concern; cost, safety and cyber security.

The devices would cost on average $2 billion in compliance costs, which is a disproportionate number for small businesses. The added cost could lead to an increase in what truckers charge to haul, which may increase the price you pay at the store. Being as the devices are electronic the necessary safety precautions such as hackings are still under investigation.

"We say if you like the ELD you can keep it. But we should not be forced to have it," Pinheiro said.