If there's one thing you don't want to do, it's tick off a truck driver. If you know one, you are aware that they can be opinionated and passionate about what they think and why they think it. It's probably because they get a lot of time every day to 'think about things.'

But ask one about electronic logs and then stand back!

I've talked with more than a few people this past week and the price for food, in fact, anything that's trucked in could be going up very soon. The reason for future price increases, federally mandated electric logs for all truck drivers.

I don't claim to know a LOT about the trucking industry, but my son Jake drives. He said, you should see the parking lots. The overnight stops that are usually full are much easier to find a spot in. I asked why and he said it's pretty simple, electronic logs. 

According to The Hill.com

From Dec. 18 to April 1, any truck drivers who are caught without an electronic logging device will be cited and allowed to continue driving, as long as they are in compliance with hours-of-service rules.

Another level of concern. Say you have a load of cattle that NEED to go 700 miles, which is fairly common. If you do the math on hauling livestock it rarely adds up.

The electronic logging device (ELD) rule – congressionally mandated as a part of MAP-21 – is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data.

This window is usually thought of as a “daily” limit even though it is not based on a 24-hour period. You are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. The 14-consecutive-hour driving window begins when you start any kind of work.

Here's where it gets tricky. In another article from The Hill; 

The electronic system does not allow any forgiveness. If traffic delays render a driver "out of time" — even if they are just one minute away from a terminal — he or she must stop right there or risk committing a violation. There is also the omnipresent issue of not enough rest stops on major highways, which needs to be addressed separately. These are the sorts of concerns Washington regulators don’t see, because they are not out driving those big rigs.

How about traffic. How about bad roads. If you get a rough patch of winter driving then deadlines can get out of whack in a hurry.

A 2014 poll found that 71 percent of independent truckers and 52 percent of leased owner-operators and company drivers said they would be tempted to quit if ELDs were made mandatory. Even if no drivers quit, mandatory ELDs would put independent truckers in a position in which they could not move all of their freight, simply because the average driver would not be able to move as much freight using ELDs as they are accustomed to. Freight rates will rise, as there are bound to be bidding wars by companies trying to get their goods delivered.

It's a complicated matter for sure. Some are saying, Pay for Day, or a flat dollar per hour wage regardless of miles drove could be part of the solution.

One thing we do know, drivers for the most part don't like it, and it will be worth the watch here in the next few days.

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