Federal mandate impacts trucking industry

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – A new federal mandate is helping make tracking hours easier for truck drivers.

The electronic logging device rule requires truckers to record their activities and hours of service electronically instead of using paper logs. It’s been a month since enforcement and commercial motor carriers, shippers, and truck drivers have been impacted. Nationwide, some trucking companies are experiencing rescheduled delivery times and confusion about how the mandate is tracked and enforced.

In Wisconsin, state patrol says the ELD rollout has been fairly smooth because of the long period of time truckers have had to prepare. However, there have been some challenges. "Some of those challenges involve drivers who are not familiar with how to transmit the electronic device records to law enforcement and then there's the occasional outage of a federal computer system in which law enforcement uses to view the uploaded ELD records," said Sgt. Bill Berger.

While there have been reports of the new rule causing confusion, local trucking company River City Transport says it’s been helpful. "On the operational side, it lets us know how much idle time trucks are experiencing as well as fuel efficiency so there's a whole slew of information that helps us manage our fleet," said Bob Ayres, President.

Officials say the mandate was put into place with safety in mind. The new law has slightly impacted day to day operations for the trucking industry.

"Soon as the truck moves its telling the device that the guy is on duty driving at this point. You can't lie about it. When 11 hours of driving has happened during the course of a day, you better be pulled over the side of the road or done with your day. It’s required our dispatchers to be better, more aware of things as the day goes along," said Ayres.

Truckers have until December 2019 to have these devices me the rule standards.

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