Independent truckers say new regulation could cost them thousands of dollars a week
Truckers are protesting a new rule mandating electronic logging devices.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A regulation goes into effect nationwide on Dec. 18 that requires truckers to install electronic logging devices, or ELDs, in their vehicles. The ELDs electronically monitor the hours truckers drive.
Chad Reynolds, an independent truck driver who owns his own rig and has been driving for 18 years, said it will make it much harder to make a living on the road.
“It's not just a job," he said. "It's a way of life."
The regulation is designed to ensure that truckers do not go over federally mandated driving limits.
“You've got a time clock you got to look at," Reynolds said. "You're going to be under the gun all the time."
Truckers are limited to 11 hours driving time during a 14-hour period and then 10 hours rest. Reynolds said he can adjust for delays such as traffic jams on his paper log, but that isn't the case with the ELDs. He said they will slow down his delivery times.
“That five minutes here, that 10 minutes there is going to cost you a load, maybe two loads a week, which is going to be about $1,500-$2,000 a week for me,” he said.
Reynolds joined other independent truckers at the State Capitol in Frankfort on Monday as part of a nationwide protest against the ELDs.
“We want our representatives, our government, to hear how we feel,” said trucker and protest organizer Shelli Conaway.
The Kentucky Trucking Association, which represents the industry, supports the ELD mandate, though it supports delaying enforcement.
“In the long run, I think it's going to make it easier on the average truck driver," said KTA President and CEO Guy Young. "I know that it's made it easier on the average trucking company who's been implementing these over the few years."
But independent drivers said the trucking association does not speak for them. They said part of the problem is the ELDs themselves. They said they can be hacked and manipulated, and there is uncertainty as to which of the ELD brands will ultimately be certified for use.
The bigger issue, they said, are the rules regulating hours of service. They want the mandate put on hold until the issues can be resolved.
“I always said I would never quit, but this could retire me,” Reynolds said.
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