Most people in Missouri know that commercial truck drivers can spend many long and lonely hours on the road, often at night. This can lead to a high level of fatigue and contribute to a lack of safety. Many an accident has occurred due, at least in part, to trucker fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enacted an Hours of Service rule that limits the number of hours a trucker may drive in a given day or work week. In an effort to force compliance with this rule, they have also mandated the use of electronic logging devices.
As explained by the FMCSA, an electronic logging device replaces an old manual process whereby truckers record their driving time. The manual process provided opportunities for records to be amended so as to appear in compliance with the HoS rule. An ELD is installed into a vehicle and automatically captures data including the date, time and location of any vehicle ignition start and stop. It also records the number of miles driven and identifies the driver.
An ELD may have the ability to provide an alert to a trucker when the HoS limit is close to being reached but this is not a requirement. Any trucker or trucking company bound by the Hours of Service rule must use ELDs.
The Small Business in Trucking Coalition had sought an exemption from the use of ELDs for owner-operators or any company with less than 50 employees. However, according to TheTrucker.com, the FMCSA has rejected this request, citing safety as the reason.