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New bill introduced by Babin could positively impact small trucking companies

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Cleveland, July 19, 2017 | comments

New bill introduced by Babin could positively impact small trucking companies
By Vanesa Brashier | Cleveland Advocate
July 19, 2017 | Link

A new bill introduced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) could delay mandatory truck logging devices on American freight trucks by two years.

"Under current law and regulation, the mandate is scheduled to go into effect Dec. 18, 2017, just five months from now," a statement from Babin reads.

"While technology like ELDs have great promise, I didn't come to Washington to force those ideas on small businesses -- and neither did President Trump," Babin said. "If trucking companies want to continue implementing and using ELDs, they should go right ahead. But for those who don't want the burden, expense and uncertainty of putting one of these devices into every truck they own by the end of the year, we can and should offer relief."

The mandate, passed under the Obama Administration in 2012, requires all freight trucks that run interstate to install ELDs, which monitor how much time a driver spends behind the wheel, how many miles are logged, location and driver information, and how long the truck is left idling, among other records that are stored electronically.

"While the mandate was crafted with the good intention of modernizing America's freight truck network and helping truckers and their employers comply with Hours of Service and other regulations, it is now abundantly clear that more time is needed, especially for small trucking companies and independent drivers who will be disproportionately affected by the cost of compliance with these new rules," Babin's statement reads.

The introduction of Babin's bill, "H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017," comes as music to the ears of David McCall, owner of Blackjack Trucking in Tarkington.

In anticipation of the mandate, McCall has been considering ways to make up the revenue his company receives from interstate trucking, about 50 percent of the company's annual revenue with its three trucks.

"We will run to Louisiana, Georgia, Ohio, all over the place. Most of our business is time-sensitive air freight. We now are refocusing our ground game to just intrastate because we don't want to deal with the federal mandate for ELDs," McCall said. "The mandate will really impact us negatively. I think it's way too much government overreach for a small business."

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