Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a new rule to improve accuracy of logging hours, roadway safety and compliance of Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.
The ruling requires paper logging methods to be replaced with electronic logging devices. Traditionally, trucking hours are recorded with an outdated pencil and paper method. Pencil and paper logs allow for more errors and falsified information. Electronic logging devices automatically record important information more accurately than with paper and pencil. They track engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and location information.
The ruling from the FMCSA states carriers and drivers who are not already using electronic logging devices need to install them on all trucks by Dec. 18, 2017.
There are many benefits to the new logging method. One important improvement is the automatic and accurate logging of hours. More accurate records will allow officials to pinpoint violations of federal HOS laws.
The new logging method is also expected to save lives and prevent injuries resulting from accidents related to HOS violations. When a driver is fudging the numbers of hours driven in a time log, he or she may end up driving longer than the laws allow, resulting in fatigue.
The new logs make it nearly impossible for drivers and carriers to falsify the numbers in the log because times are automatically recorded and reported. The amount of paperwork that needs to be filed will be reduced because of the electronic files, reducing room for human error.
The American Trucking Association has expressed its support of the new logging method. They stated this ruling is another step in the right direction for increasing safety for drivers and others on the road.
If you are interested in learning more about HOS regulations, check out some of our past blogs: