DAYTON/PIQUA, Ohio (WDTN) – Commercial truck drivers across the country are preparing for a new mandate.
They have to switch from paper logging to electronic by December 18th.
The congressional mandate was made in 2015 and the deadline is less than a week away to be in compliance.
“It’s all about safety I think. The paper logs vs the E-log, it’s about safety and making sure they are in compliance,” said Kimberly Kagley, the Owner of Drivers Edge CDL Training in Piqua.
Kagley drove trucks for twenty years.
She’s a teacher now and will have to teach some basics of the new technology going into trucks nationwide.
“It’s a computer that is attached to the truck. It’s going to know when you start, stop at all times. It can be a benefit to the driver,” said Kagley.
Not everyone sees the benefit.
Ron Bowers of Bowers Trucking says the system will throw up unnecessary red flags.
“The computer is going to come up with all kinds of violations. Your company is going threaten to fire you. But on paper, you can go home and nothing ever happens,” said Bowers.
Bowers and many other truckers are concerned that the system will cut their hours.
The ELD system runs 14-hour shifts and drivers can only be on the road for 11.
Time that wont stop for breaks, accidents and other factors that slow truckers down.
The average ELD system can cost nearly 1,000 dollars.
“Now, not only do I have to buy that. Like your phone service, I have to pay a monthly service fee,” said Bowers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the rule is expected to save 25 lives a year and prevent 500 people from being injured.
They say ditching paper could save the industry millions.
“You are eliminating someone’s job. I got girls in the office that go through the logs and its how they make a living,” said Bowers.
Bowers has a small fleet and believes this could make life harder for business like his. He estimates that some smaller trucking companies will be forced to sell their businesses to larger companies.
Earlier this month 47-states including Ohio had protests against electronic logging.
Some senators are asking for the deadline to be extended.Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.