Proposed legislation may cause delay U.S. e-log mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Opponents to impending legislation that will require the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) to monitor driver hours-of-service in the U.S. are lauding a legislative push to delay the rule for two years.

U.S. Rep. Brian Babin introduced legislation that, if passed, would delay the mandate for two years, a move that was welcomed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), a lobby group that represents owner-operators and small business truckers and that has been critical of the mandate.

“The (FMCSA) has failed to answer important questions from Congress and industry stakeholders about this mandate,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice-president. “This includes issues related to enforcement, connectivity, data transfers, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and many other legitimate real-world concerns.”

Babin’s bill, H.R.3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, would extend the current implementation date from December 2017 to December 2019.
Industry forecaster and analyst ACT Research, opined that any delay will only push back the inevitable adoption of ELDs by the majority of industry.
“Short-term, it may provide procrastinators a reason – or an excuse – to postpone an ELD commitment,” the company said in a statement posted on Twitter. “But it’s only delaying the inevitable – ELDs will be an effective standard, even without regulation, before long.”

ACT did indicate if the mandate is pushed back, capacity relief for carriers will depend on freight growth, restraining freight rates into 2018. It’s widely believed an ELD mandate will push some capacity from the industry, putting upward pressure on rates.