New Rules Require Truck Drivers To Log Hours Electronically

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) -- For more than 70 years, truckers have logged their miles the good old-fashioned way -- with pen and paper.

However, drivers across the US will soon be required to log their hours electronically using electronic logging devices, or ELDs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees the trucking industry, passed the new rule to help combat a major industry issue -- fatigue.

Industry officials were concerned because logging hours on paper is impossible to verify, and could open the door to truckers driving past their legal limit, to the point of exhaustion.

ELDs automatically record driving time and monitor engine hours, vehicle movement, location and miles driven.

USA Truck in Van Buren has already embraced the new technology and is requiring their employees to log time electronically. Many of their employees like the change.

"It makes their life easier," said Billy Cartwright, vice president of safety. "They aren't wasting time with doing a paper log, and it's right there for them and they can be more efficient."

Another perk is that ELDs will streamline inspections for police officers, making their job faster as well as keeping the roads safer.

Sgt. Jeff Smith of the Arkansas Highway Police said drivers try to push past their sleep limits all too often.

"We see that every day, and not just once, but several times throughout the state," Smith said.

Truck drivers have until Dec. 11, 2017 to employ the ELD system. After that, companies will be fined.

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