Federal Mandate Changes How Truckers Log Hours

December 29, 2017 10:33 PM

December brought big changes for those who drive a big rig for a living.

On Dec. 18, a congressionally mandated regulation went into effect that requires truck drivers to use electronic logging devices. Electronic logging devices synchronize with a truck engine to automatically record driving times.


For years, Bill Collins taught potential drivers how to log driving hours into a daily paper log book at his truck driving school. But now the classroom focuses on the use of electronic logging devices.

"The benefit for the driver with an electronic system is (it's) so much easier to manage your time, track it and record it," he said. "To do it manually, adding up the minutes of any given day, was a tedious task,"

Federal regulations only allow drivers to drive 11 hours a day, and over an eight day period they're only allowed to drive 70 hours. The electronic logging devices system is designed to alert program administrators when a driver gets close to going over hours.

Minnesota law enforcement officials say the new system will help keep people on the road safe.

Capt. Jon Olsen, with the Minnesota State Patrol, there were over 4,000 crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2015.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there is a soft enforcement on the electronic logging devices from December to March 31.

"Starting April 1, if a driver is found to not be in compliance with the electronic logging device mandate, then driver would be placed out of service until compliance is met," Olsen said.




Todd Wilson

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