ELD’s DO NOT keep truckers from working more that 70 hours/week
Has the General Public and Safety Advocacy Groups been Duped?
THE BIG LIE: ELD’s keep drivers from working more that 70 hours/week and thus have the ability to reduce Truck Driver Fatigue?
Fact is: Truck ELD ‘s are just a smokescreen pretending to create Safer Highways as they LEGALLY reduce a drivers available hours to drive, therefore pushing drivers to work additional hours without pay.
For many years it has been an objective of the FMCSA, Safety Groups and a host of government agencies to create safety by introducing and mandating a continuous onslaught of regulations onto drivers as a way to create safer highways.
Ironically, many of the rules within the FMCSA create more stress including the Hours-of-Service (HOS) and the ELD ( Electronic logging device) which measure and records the Hours of Driver Drive Time, keeping drivers HOS compliant with the 14 hour clock. But does it really?
Purpose of the ELD Final Rule
According to the FMCSA The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier, faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data.
Theoretically the ELD is to address and prevent: “Cheating” on Logs which would allow drivers to drive more hours, thus reducing Truck Driver Fatigue. In the minds of many this would logically create safer highways. Although an ELD can accurately measuring a drivers drive time, it does not automatically monitor hours logged.
In other words, the device does not ensure a drivers hours are logged correctly, but rather will permit drivers to work many times in excess of 100 hours/wk
But how can that be?
An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording.
Additionally, whatever the driver enters, is what it records. The only thing the ELD can measure relatively accurately, is when the truck is moving, or logged, “On Duty Driving”
Once the Truck is disengaged ( turned off or stopped) it no longer “automatically” logs what the driver is doing. The driver still manually enters either: Off Duty, Sleeper Berth, Driving, On Duty Not Driving
The FMCSA issued a Final Rule for ELD in December 2015.
Before we continue, these are some well known facts among the driving community
1) Most Truckers are paid by the mile with little or no compensation for their other jobs performed or “extra hours”
2) Drivers are mandated by FMCSA to a 14 hour clock, allowed to drive 11 hours within a 14 hour work period.
3) Drivers are held to a 70 hour work week
4) Drivers Log those hours according to the following in order to remain compliant
a) Line 1- Off Duty
b) Line 2 sleeper birth
c) Line 3-On Duty Driving
d) Line 4-On Duty Not Driving
5) Most TL Drivers are not paid for detention time.
These hours readily eat up the 14 hour clock and 70 hour work week
6) Drivers will log either Line 1 ( Off Duty) or Line 2( Sleeper Berth) to preserve their 70 hours while waiting at loading docks
7) Drivers often work 100+ hours /week
8) Drivers are not paid for as many as 40 hours/week of their time spent waiting and/or doing other tasks. Again, many times drivers log Line 1 or 2 to preserve their hours.
Map 21 -FMCSA – In 2012, the United States Congress enacted the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” bill, or, more commonly referred to as MAP-21. That bill, which also outlined the criteria for highway funding, included a provision requiring the FMCSA to develop a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs)
There is a possibility however, that the change in interpretation of CFR 395.2 in 2012 (from April of 1997), without public comment I might add, could “muddy the waters” as to define when it is “legally“allowed to log waiting at docks, Off Duty/Sleeper Berth, no matter how long the delay. How can that be? Aren’t drivers “at work” while waiting at the docks? Shouldn’t they be paid for waiting? Or could this change any hope for that?
Why do drivers log line Off Duty or Sleeper Berth when they are actually “On Duty not Driving”? Is that Legal?
Shouldn’t they be logging line 4?What about when waiting at docks?
Every driver reading this knows EXACTLY why this is…. Because as stated in Fact 1- Drivers get paid by the miles THEY DRIVE ONLY… NOT for their TIME. This means that ANYTHING other than driving will not be compensated: waiting time at docks ,weather, paperwork, looking for parking, eating, etc… This is “expected free time” without pay that drivers accept as part of “their job”
Do ELD’s make roads safer?
Theoretically, ELD’s will monitor a drivers 11 hour drive time, determining when the truck moves. ELD’s do not monitor ANYTHING else however.
Example: A driver could drive 11 hours, shut down, manually log off duty while waiting at a dock for 10 hours (not sleeping) and then go on to their next load. No one would know.
On Paper ELD’s Seem like the perfect solution to safer roads, right?
But is it? The ATA, Safety Groups, and even Congress seems to think it will. But what do drivers say?
Before we answer this, let’s talk about the 70 hour work week? Will ELD’s be able to monitor this? Are they really only working 70 hours? Do drivers even know or care that they are working over 70 UNPAID hours?
Fact is, ELD does not monitor what the driver is actually doing, even if logged Sleeper Berth, they can still be working. Unless there is a probe connected to the driver or a camera watching EVERY move to ensure they get his/her rest, absolute assurance that a driver is “resting” is impossible.
Are we to expect Biometrics to follow?
The myth and Lie of ELD’s
1)Drivers have been conditioned to believe that THEIR TIME IS NOT VALUABLE. They believe only the hours they drive are valuable.
2) Drivers get paid by the mile, not for their time
3) Drivers Wages have remained stagnant for decades
4) Drivers believe that the only way they can make more money is to drive more miles
5) Drivers believe that logging off duty or sleeper birth is “legal” if they are waiting at a loading dock. They do this to preserve their 70 hour clock, which means they are working 70 hours plus 30+ hours extra waiting at shippers and receivers. They log this way to have more time to drive in order to make more money.
FMCSA: Definitions, Rules, and Guidance
49 CFR Part 395 July 12th 2013 Update from April 4th 1997
Hours of Service for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers; Regulatory Guidance Concerning Off-Duty Time
What Is Off-Duty Time?
By understanding the definition of on-duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off-duty time. In order for time to be considered off-duty, you must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. You must be free to pursue activities of your own choosing and be able to leave the place where your vehicle is parked.
On-Duty Time In a Commercial Motor Vehicle- On-duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work. On-duty time shall include:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) excludes from the definition of on-duty time, any time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle, with the driver relieved of all responsibility for the vehicle. Also excluded to be considered on duty, is up to 2 hours in the passenger seat of a moving commercial motor vehicle, immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth. This rule continues to require drivers to take 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, and allows them to take an additional 2 hours in the passenger seat when the vehicle is moving, without artificially confining them to the sleeper berth for the entire 10-hour period.
Drivers already know that ELD’s will not create safer roads, but the media, general public, and safety groups unfortunately have all been given a false sense of security, believing that ELD’s and HOS are the answer to Safer Highways, eliminating Truck Driver Fatigue, and preventing fatal crashes… All of which are a cover up, designed to keep wages down and to keep drivers working harder to chase that carrot hanging down.
Pat Hockaday Comment:
Time has value! We are governed by the clock, not the number of miles we may run!
In order to run miles, we must have Available Hours to do so. In order to run miles, Mandated Breaks Must Have Been Taken! Mandated breaks deny us the use of our time, possession of our time has been taken away from us. Are we expected to just donate our time to the Job????
“Relieved of All Responsibility” implies that the Driver has the freedom to do as they please. OK, I want to mow my grass but my grass is a thousand miles away! NOW I Have to Hire Somebody to do “As I Please”.
If the Driver is “Relieved of All Responsibility” who has assumed the responsibility?? If the carrier, shipper or receiver has relieved a Driver from “All Responsibility” aren’t they responsible to return “All Responsibility” back to the Driver with the equipment in the same condition as it was when they accepted “All Responsibility”?
An employee Driver may leave the truck in the possession of the carrier when they go home but when you or I go home, aren’t we still responsible??
In order to be technically “Off Duty” the Driver must be relieved of duty and all responsibility to preform work and to be in readiness to preform work while being “Relieved of All Responsibility” for the truck, trailer and cargo.
HOLD ON A MINUTE, that’s how the definitions were written BUT the definitions have changed in 2013.
“Through the revision of the regulatory guidance, FMCSA makes clear that the motor carrier need not provide formal guidance, either verbal or written, to drivers with regard to the specific times and locations where rest break may be taken. The revised guidance also emphasizes that periods of time during which the driver is free to stop working, and engage in activities of his/her choosing, may be recorded as off-duty time, irrespective of whether the driver has the means or opportunity to leave a particular facility or location.”
Any OO or Independent worth two cents know that they must price themselves by considering the amount of time needed to do the job. Of course we must work within the prevailing labor rate that the market has set. Hmm, if we must compete against a labor force who’s value has been set for them by only considering the production that may be performed, the value of OUR Time has been established by the market, A Controlled Market, as is evident in this amendment to Part 395.2 that reads;
On-Duty Time In a Commercial Motor Vehicle
Effective February 27, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration excluded from the definition of on-duty time any time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle, with the driver relieved of all responsibility for the vehicle.
Combine this with the previous definition of “Relieved of All Responsibility” and it may be interpreted that Drivers may legally log “Off Duty” while waiting.
This goes against Part 395.2 that reads;
On-duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work. On-duty time shall include:
(1) All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;
(2) All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time;
(3) All driving time as defined in the term driving time;
(4) All time in or on a commercial motor vehicle, other than:
(i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in § 397.5 of this subchapter;
There is a lot to be considered that affects Drivers pay. ELD’s can be utilized by Drivers to increase the Safety of the Roadways only if they can AFFORD to operate in full compliance of the HOS.
How do the Drivers put these boxes to work For The Drivers????