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September 2015

Rule to require speed limiters could come this week

A proposed rule that will require use of speed limiters on heavy trucks is still scheduled to be published by the Department of Transportation this week, according to the DOT's latest rulemakings update.

The rule, details of which are still not public, is forecasted to be cleared by the White House's Office of Management and Budget Monday, Aug. 17, and published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Aug. 20.

The NPRM is expected to include both a proposed limited speed and details on whether the rule will apply retroactively to vehicles already in use or to just new trucks being manufactured.

Kristina Pein-Cleary

Marketing Manager

Getting ahead of the ELD mandate

Watchers note that, as concerns the electronic logging device mandate, there are a lot of trucks that will be newly required to be outfitted with some electronic system, possibly as early as late 2017. Mark Kessler of PeopleNet, an AOBRD and telematics provider, estimates that as many as four million trucks will need some kind of electronic logging system.

July polling of Overdrive readers shows that only 13 percent of all readers are using a logging device that is compliant under the Code of Federal Regulations section 395.15, meaning it is likely to meet requirements of an ELD mandate. The remaining 87 percent use paper logs or a logbook app or software that is not 395.15-compliant.

Separate polling showed widespread opposition to the ELD mandate itself.

If the timeline remains as proposed last year, a grandfather clause in the rule will give owners already running with an AOBRD that is compliant under 395.15 an extra two years to do any necessary upgrades that may be required. Such upgrades, in a few instances, may include older systems' hardware.

Read the full story here.
ELD mandate: Independents' final straw?

What would the trucking industry look like without 70 percent of the independent and small-fleet owner-operators in business moving freight on the roads today?

What kind of recruiting and training efforts might be required among more sizable fleets if 52 percent of their company drivers and leased owner-operators suddenly exit the business?

Such questions aren't strictly rhetorical. An Overdrive survey of readers shows such percentages of respondents saying they would either retire or look for another line of work before they'd ever run with an electronic logging device.

It's unclear how many of those small independents, as well as some owner-operators and company drivers not using ELDs, would not follow through on threats to quit. But the recent experience of older drivers leaving when the current hours of service regulations were introduced shows the threats are not all idle.  The ELD mandate likewise could accelerate industry retirements, says analyst Jay Thompson, president of Transportation Business Associates.

Read the full story here.
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