Owner operators: How to be ready for the ELD mandate

A very popular blogger couple who happen to be owner operator truck drivers in Atlanta, GA. went on to talk about the inevitable electronic logbook mandate. Their beef was how owner operators truckers are just starting to react to the ruling only a few months before it goes into effect on December 18, 2017.

Needless to say, this has been a very long and controversial topic that owner operator truck drivers are addressing both online and offline. Some truckers are recurring to social media groups on facebook, while others are going to forums to read what others think about it.

Regardless of your position on the ELD mandate, we must acknowledge both sides make very compelling arguments. On one hand, we have the FMCSA stating that this mandate will reduce the number of truck-related accidents due to driver fatigue. Also, at the end of 2015, the FMCSA published a final rule document where they claim this mandate will help to save 26 lives per year. Of course, we all know one life lost is one too many and if the intention is to create a safer work environment for drivers then we need to admit this is a very strong case. On the other hand, opponents of the mandate argue electronic logging devices are expensive and represent a disadvantage for small fleets. Others worry about how this could violate their 4th amendment rights. By this line of reasoning, they refuse to adopt this system.

Although the points of view are obviously more extensive and complicated than previously described, it would take more than one blog post to explain it thoroughly. Time is of the essence and a date has been set, so right now the best course of action is to prepare for it.

Owner operator jobs in Texas and the intrastate mandateOwner Operator Jobs in Texas

Interestingly enough there is a different date set for the state of Texas, but that doesn’t mean it applies to just anyone. Intrastate truck drivers in Texas will have until December 19, 2019, to start using an electronic logging device.

How does this affect owner operator jobs in Texas? It is important to understand that this only applies to truckers driving within the state of Texas or regional owner operator jobs limited only to that state. As you can see not all owner operator truckers can take advantage of this exemption since to make good money you need to run as an interstate trucker.

Be proactive and be ready

At this point, there is nothing anyone can say or do to postpone or reverse the mandate. In reality, like the blogger I mentioned before said, if that is what truck driver’s wanted they would have been better off commenting on the proposed rules a few years back. In any case, at this moment the best strategy is to be prepared and if you are not using an ELD then look for the best option and start learning ASAP.

Status Transportation safety teamOwner Operator ELD Mandate

The safety team at Status Transportation is very proactive in helping owner operator truck drivers to stay compliant with DOT rules and regulations. If you would like to switch from using paper logs to an electronic log book get in touch with your dispatcher or the safety team today. They can schedule a short 2-hour meeting at our office in Atlanta, GA or Winter Garden, FL where they can install the device on your truck. Not only that but they will also sit with you and show you how to use it.

Wishful thinking or putting it off is not going to make this mandate go away. So don’t be caught off guard and take immediate action so that when the time comes you can keep running during the holiday season in December.