ELD’s Are In Our Future, and Coming to a Truck Near You.

Truck technology vendors said they see no major flaws in the federal government’s new proposal to require electronic logging devices in commercial trucks, but they are seeking further clarification on some facets of the expected rule.

Based on their assessments of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed regulation, most ELD providers said software updates will enable them to meet the proposed technical requirements rather than having to make major hardware changes to their current on board systems.

FMCSA published its long-awaited proposal on ELDs on March 13. The plan — mandating that all interstate truck drivers implement the use of ELDs two years after the rule becomes final — is intended to enforce hours-of-service rules to mitigate fatigue, eliminate driver harassment and diminish paperwork burdens.

Not only do drivers want electronic logging, it’s critical for them. It means management can’t over-work the driver anymore. He can say to management, ‘I’m done for the day and you can’t do a damn thing about it, so call me in 10 hours.’ ”

It’s a carrot-and-stick issue, balancing what you get for them in addition to compliance for you. Drivers resisted the changes at first, but eventually bought into it. The logging helps with their [Compliance, Safety, Accountability] scores.

Fleets that already have logging devices on their trucks would have two additional years from the compliance date to install new devices if theirs do not meet the technological specifications contained in the proposed rule.

The proposal said that most HOS recording devices and systems manufactured on or after 2010 will be able to comply with the rule with relatively inexpensive software.

The technology companies want clarity on such matters as security, engine connectivity and data transfer, for example, but they also said the proposed rule would give them enough flexibility to develop a range of new products.

Any hardware changes would probably be related to the roadside data-delivery process, depending on how the final rule takes shape.