Independent truckers from around the country gathered today to bring attention to the new technology mandate that could leave consumers paying more at the grocery store.
Cindy Marshall is an owner-operator who is against the idea.
In his letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Hill said implementation would cause a burden to both drivers and operators.
But the truckers compared having these devices in their trucks akin to an ankle bracelet on parolees. Drivers can only work a certain number of hours a day, and the Wrights say the previous method of logging data was flexible with the inevitable traffic delays. The ELD will monitor if a truck's engine is running or not, meant to crack down on truck drivers driving more hours than they should per day.
Republican Congressman Brian Babin attended the protest in Baytown Monday, talking with truckers about their frustrations.
We will let you know what happens. ELDs are simply a more modern and efficient way of recording a driver's hours-of-service.
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But beyond those concerns and anticipated increased time away from their homes and families that it will cost them, the truckers' underlying gripe is the restrictions on their hours of service in which they can work which were put in place in 2003 and slightly modified in 2013. "But you have 11 hours of driving you have to do within that 14 hour time period, including getting fuel, and a mandatory 30 minute break". "You go somewhere to pick up a load; you sit in the dock for nearly two to three hours".
Truckers from around the country are working with lawmakers to change the mandate. "If they won't come to us, then we're going to go to them", she said.
"If I'm driving 74 miles per hour and I see a auto easing up on me, I will usually let off and let the vehicle go on, but after the ELDs go into effect I can't give that courtesy anymore because every time I let off the accelerator I lose money".
That is particularly concerning when it comes to inexperienced drivers, said veteran independent trucker Michael Showers of Harrisburg.
"These guys have 1 to 2 million miles under their belts, and they have clean safety records", he said.