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uShip survey: May be many out of compliance with ELD rule

by TheTrucker staff  /  If a survey conducted by uShip is accurate, there’ll be a lot of folks out of compliance December 16, 2017.

That’s the date by which most carriers will have to be using electronic logging devices per the recent Final Rule.

uShip, a global transport marketplace, said it surveyed 5,469 active, compliant U.S.-based service providers on the topics of electronic logs and coercion, which is the subject of a Final Rule published recently.

The proposed rule is designed to prevent motor carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries from coercing a driver to accept a job that would require them to violate Hours of Service regulations.

The rule also provides the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with the authority to take enforcement action if coercion is proven.

uShip said by and large, most surveyed were either owner-operators or part of a small or regional fleets, and fall into the “small business” category of operator.

Asked if they were currently using electronic logs, 77 percent said no; 23 percent said yes.

Asked if they planned on using an ELD in the future, 76 percent said no.

Of those who said they plan on getting an ELD, timeframes varied widely: 27 percent said one to three months; 27 percent said four to eight months; 31 percent said nine to 12 months; and 15 percent said more than 12 months.

A uShip spokesperson, commenting on the number of respondents who said they’d never use an ELD despite the compliance mandate, said his hunch was that it’s more sentiment than what will actually transpire, meaning, eventually, knowing that they’ll face fines without one, most will comply, especially as technology becomes increasingly easy to use and pervasive in the cab.

“Naturally, there will be holdouts and rebels who take their chances, just like with any regulation,” the spokesperson said.

uShip officials released some of the comments on ELDs, but kept attribution generic.

A heavy equipment hauler in Phoenix wrote: “Honestly and frankly I think it’s bull****. It’s another thing we have to buy, install, maintain and comply with. The government and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration just keep making it harder and harder to make a living in this industry due to countless regulations, outrageous fines that, more times than not, end up making a business have to close down because they were hit so hard with a fine.”

A trucker who’s been with uShip since 2007 wrote: “I firmly believe that more drivers will be pushing it harder and driving faster because they will be watching the clock tick by on their new shiny electronic log.  You will see an increase in commercial vehicle accidents caused because of this regulation. This will not affect me because we are a husband and wife team and we will both have our CDLs.”

A motorcycle SaferWatch-Monitored motorcycle hauler wrote: “Is good for safety but will really affect travel and deadline schedules.”

As for coercion, 15 percent of the respondents said they’ve been coerced, and almost half of those multiple times, threatened mostly with fewer loads; nearly three in four say they’ve never been coerced and 9 percent said they’d prefer not to say.

Of those who said they’d been threatened because they refused a load that would cause them to be noncompliant with Hours of Service, 34 percent said they’d been threatened with few loads, 27 percent with lower pay and 16 percent with fewer miles. “Other” was listed by 22 percent.

Nearly half (48 percent) of those who reported being coerced, indicate it’s happened multiple times.

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