ELD Mandate Protest

Phil Cohen

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“ELD or Me” and “Operation Black and Blue,” the popular Facebook groups, have planned a protest in our nation’s capital from October 3 to October 7, 2017. The staged demonstrations in Washington D.C. are centered on the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate that was issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

About the Protest

ELD or Me was started by Tony Justice, a trucker who is a singer-songwriter, with the purpose of bringing other truckers together or do not stand for the ELD Mandate. The Doswell Truck Stop in Doswell, Virginia, will be a meeting point for truckers who are south of Washington D.C. to be shuttled downtown for the protest to take place outside of the White House. ELD or Me has encouraged drivers who cannot attend the protest to close their businesses and rally wherever they can.

Operation Black and Blue is a Facebook group that also planned the protest. It was started by Mike “Gunney” Faram and he plans to have a limited number of protestors drive their trucks into D.C. to protest, rather than be vanned in like ELD and Me group’s plan. For more information and to stay up-to-date about Operation Black and Blue visit their website or Facebook page. While ELD or Me is focused on rallying against the ELD Mandate specifically, Operation Black and Blue tends to bring attention to other issues that affect the trucking industry.

Both groups, although different in ways, encourage drivers to protest the ELD Mandate wherever they can between the days of October 3 through October 7 to show the importance of the issue.

Why Protest the ELD Mandate?

As most owner-operators know, the ELD Mandate will hit smaller carriers hard. With e-logs monitoring every minute of a drive, the amount drivers can be paid (or would have the opportunity to be paid for) will decrease.

If bad weather delays your drive or if your truck needs maintenance, drivers will still be clocked for that time with the ELDs rather than adjusted with paper logs. Even worse is that most of these are out of a drivers control, especially if there is a big delay at the shipper/receiver.

Depending on the size of your trucking company, you might not be affected greatly by the ELD Mandate, especially if you already log your time electronically. However, many of the smaller owner-ops who help the trucking industry thrive will be required to spend money implementing these electronic practices, whether they want to or not.

Many owner-operators became an o/o because they wanted to be their own boss and take control of when they work, how they work, where they go, how much money they can make, etc., and some feel that freedom (that got them to in the trucking industry to begin with) will disappear with the ELD Mandate that seems to monitor every move.

The ELD Mandate from FMCSA is intended to create a safer environment on the road for drivers of all vehicles and to better track and manage the safety as well. While many drivers are not opposed to the actual usage of ELD’s and agree that safety is important, the HOS (hours-of-service) regulation is where the real problem rests.

The Hours-of-Service Rules

Drivers are only able to drive for up to 11 hours and then that driver is required to take a 10 hour break.  If a driver is On Duty (not driving but fueling, inspection, etc.) or Driving status for 14 hours they must take a 10 hour break before driving any more. A driver cannot Drive nor be On Duty for more than 70 hours in an 8-day period. There are additional rules and explanations on the FMCSA website.

Hours of service infographic for ELD mandate

Get a better understanding of the ELD Mandate to decide if you want to protest with fellow owner-operators. While transitioning to electronic logging might cost money, your cash flow can remain stable with freight factoring. Talk to an expert to get started.

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Phil Cohen

Phil is the owner of PRN Funding and sister company Factor Finders. He has been an authority in the factoring industry for over 20 years, serving on the board of directors for several factoring associations.


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