If there was one consistent element across 2017’s semi-trucking news (aside from Tesla’s trucks), it was the new regulations concerning ELDs, or electronic logging devices, that semi-trucks were mandated to have. These devices would monitor drive times to ensure better compliance with maximum drive times and schedules in a way that paper logs couldn’t fully capture. The rule mandated that trucks have them in place by December 18th but, for qualifying semi-trucks that were used for hauling agricultural goods, there was a 90-day extension.
What was the reason for the extension?
All drivers face long wait times at pick-up and drop-off points, and due to the infrastructure at these docks or points of contact, that weight time is considered driving time. This places a large time constraint on drivers who need to turn around with a new load and make significant progress on the return route. But it hits agricultural drivers the hardest of all, especially during peak harvest times.
Because unprocessed agricultural goods are perishable, the industry is very susceptible to delays. If drivers have to wait in line for a new load of goods but then can’t get started (or can’t make it very far) before their maximum drive time is exceeded, then the goods are likely to go bad before they complete their whole processing and transportation cycle to grocery stores and consumers.
Why does this matter now?
The end of the extension is coming up quickly. Starting April 1, agricultural haulers will be subject to the ELD regulations unless the FMSCA makes further changes or extensions. That means violations will start to count against the drivers’ CSA scoring. So start making route changes and integrating the new regulations into your planning; the end of March will soon be here.
For more information on factors that impact your insurance premiums and related company costs, go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska.