The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) passed a new rule which requires truckers to install an electronic logging device (ELD) to record the number of hours they are on or off the road. These ELDs must be installed by April 1, 2018. Ahead of this deadline, the FMSCA granted agricultural truckers a second 90-day extension on ELD compliance.
Prior to this new rule, there had been very little change to the process of how truckers record their hours. The trucking industry has been primarily relying on paper hardcopy logs since the 1930s, which made it too easy for truckers to falsify their records to comply with the hours-of-service rules, regardless of how many hours they actually drove.
Current federal hours-of-service regulations require truckers to limit their driving to no more than 11 hours a day within a 14 hour workday. Drivers must then be off duty for 10 hours after their shift. The purpose of the new ELD rule was to bring the trucking industry into the 21st century while also making it more difficult for companies to encourage truckers to falsify their driving hours.
Food and agriculture truckers were already granted one 90-day extension last year, and were recently approved for a second by the FMSCA ahead of the April 1 deadline. Overall, the FMSCA has indicated that the ELD compliance rate is already at 96% ahead of the deadline.