Truckers say new ELD mandate will raise the price of goods

Truckers say new ELD mandate will raise the price of goods
ELD stands for electronic logging device. It’s basically a computer that hooks into a truck’s computer to track everything from routes to miles traveled and the hours it took to travel those miles. (Photo source: WLOX)
ELD stands for electronic logging device. It’s basically a computer that hooks into a truck’s computer to track everything from routes to miles traveled and the hours it took to travel those miles. (Photo source: WLOX)
Starting December 18, these truck drivers will be regulated to the minute using the ELDs. (Photo source: WLOX)
Starting December 18, these truck drivers will be regulated to the minute using the ELDs. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Truck drivers across the country are coming together to speak out against changes coming to the industry. They're saying these changes could have serious consequences for everyone.

The ELD, or Electronic Logging Device, keeps an eye on the day to day activities of big rigs. Some truckers are calling it "invasive surveillance."

"It tracks our location. It keeps track of what we're hauling, where we are, how fast we're driving. Pretty much the gambit of everything that would go with starting the truck in the morning and parking the truck in the evening," said Charles Claburn, a truck driver of 23 years.

But it's not only the detailed tracking that is giving drivers concern. It's the regulations that become enforceable with the device on December 18.

"You can run 14 hours a day, and of that, 11 you can drive," said truck driver Don Wilson.

There are other required breaks and steps that must be fulfilled. Wilson has been transporting goods for 40 years and said this feels wrong.

"Too many people outside the cab of that truck have control over what we're doing," he said.

The ELD mandate was written into legislation passed several years ago in the name of safety on our country's roadways. According to Charles Claburn, with 23 years of experience under his seatbelt, that has turned out to be in vain.
 
"It's done the exact opposite because now we have to race a ticking time bomb on the dashboard," said Claburn.

He believes drivers will be rushing to find a place to park for the night before making it to their destination, among other issues. And according to Claburn, the problems won't stop on the highway. He believes the public will see an impact on their wallets.

"A 6.7 percent increase in the cost of transportation to move the goods across the country, which means the consumer is going to pick up the tab for what we have to charge to move it," said Claburn.

But before that can happen, he and other drivers are hoping to get officials in Washington to see that the mandate needs to be delayed. Those protesting the mandate are hoping President Trump will take notice and sign H-R 3282, also known as the ELD Extension Act of 2017.

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