Electronic logging devices to hurt drivers, economy says trucking company

By December most carriers and truck drivers will be required to have an electronic logging device instead of using paper logs that have been an industry standard for decades.

The mandate was created to make driver's work safer and to make it easier to track driving records, avoiding data tampering as well.

But president and owner, Barry Mcgarrh, from Bluegrass Transport and Expeditors tells Eyewitness News that's not the case.

"They're putting too much pressure on a driver," said 17-year driver Harley Essary.

Electronic logging devices, ELD for short, will soon be on all 32 trucks at the local trucking company.

By the end of the year Bluegrass Transport and Expeditors plan to have all devices geo synced with the trucks. Which means for drivers, all they have to do is hop in, turn the key and hit the road.

The device begins tracking the truck's route when it leaves the lot and within a 14-hour time frame, it only allows for a three hour break.

The government believes this is a positive change, but Mcgarrh only sees the negative.

“And so in that 14 hour clock they could be pressured to just make sure they stay on the road instead of get off the road when they feel like they really could be getting sleepy and taking a break,” said Mcgarrh.

One truck driver we spoke to agrees.

“To keep up with our 14-hour routes and telling us when we can start driving and when we can stop. I'm afraid they're gonna start forcing drivers to, they're gonna force us to drive and have a lot more accidents and that's my main concern,” said Essary.

Going over break hours leaves less time to drive, which is where the pressure to not stop comes from.

But that's not the only negative Mcgarrh sees.

“One third of our driver fleet is made up of retired drivers that have been retirement age from 63-70, and so that is the driving force we have,” said Mcgarrh.

Saying this added amount of pressure just might force the older drivers to quit.

“This is gonna affect the economy as a whole. The biggest part it's gonna change is the driver shortage. There's already a driver shortage.”

The change is near and drivers are unsure of what's to come.

“I don't know if you can prepare. You can practice you can try to be mentally prepared but I don't know if you can really be prepared for it,” said Essary.

Bluegrass says that if their drivers are not taking enough breaks, the device will alert them.     

Installation will cost around $20-30,000 for their fleet of 32 and there will be a monthly fee of $1,500.

The devices will be fully implemented by November

(This article was originally published October 9, 2017)

More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Video Center