Kentucky truckers join nationwide protest of ELDs

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The mandate is expected to go into effect this month.

During a rally in Syracuse, a group of truckers protested a new federal regulation that will require all commercial truck drivers to install "Electronic Logging Devices" or "ELDs" in their vehicles.

"Most small-business truckers can ill afford to make these purchases only to learn later that their ELD is non-compliant", Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president, said. The rule says once drivers turn their trucks on they have 14 hours to travel as far as possible before taking a mandatory 10 hour break.

The FMCSA estimates that ELDs will prevent hundreds of crashes a year by keeping exhausted drivers off the road. And if recent actions are any guide, the truckers have good reason to hope the ELD mandate will be stalled, because the Trump administration has already hit the brakes on a range of Obama-era trucking safety regulations. "Drivers transporting livestock have a moral obligation to care for the animals they're hauling". "They don't know whats going on out here". It's what the electronic logging devices is created to enforce.

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By law, drivers are allowed a maximum of 14 hours per day, with only 11 of those hours spent driving.

With the December 18th compliance date only days away, truckers came out in force to ask lawmakers to do something - anything - to stop or even just delay the ELD Mandate.

Many midsize and bigger trucking companies are on board and already use ELDs across their fleets, but many independent drivers and owner-operators balk at the mandate, citing the cost of the devices - the most popular of which run almost $500.

The Kentucky Trucking Association, which represents the industry, supports the ELD mandate, though it supports delaying enforcement. "It puts you on duty", said Hasner.

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Truck driver Eugene Roehm, of Willshire, said the mandate is unfair because it does not apply to everyone.

"Like I usually drive 62 to 65 out on the road and that's because of the fuel cost and everything like that and it's a lot safer anyway", said Brookings trucker Tom Kuechenmeister. He said they will slow down his delivery times.

Conaway and Osborne both say they favor legislation sponsored by Congressman Brain Babin, R-TX, which would delay implementation of the ELD mandate for two years. "It's been going up steadily and we need to do something now".

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