The past few years have seen some stark changes in the trucking industry, with many stemming from new rules and regulations. The ELD Mandate took effect at the end of 2017, and almost two years later, the industry is still heavily affected by it. Those that didn’t plan ahead and strategize were often left in the dust, but firms that made it a point to adapt are still thriving today. Those who succeeded should continue to keep an innovative mindset, as even further changes may be coming in 2020. The FMCSA has proposed some new rules that may give more flexibility to drivers if they are passed.
One of the biggest changes would be a short-haul exception that allows commercial drivers to operate within 150 miles and 14 hours without using an ELD tracking device instead of 100 miles and 12 hours.
Another proposal is to extend 2 hours of allowable on-duty time when a driver is going to encounter adverse driving conditions.
An idea for a major change to the 10-hour rule is to allow a 7/3 or 6/4 split when taking breaks rather than requiring a continuous 10 hour span off duty.
Drivers may also be able to pause their 14-hour clock once per active driving shift for up to 3 hours. This allows for time to plan routes and wait out the rush hour traffic.
All of these rules would likely be seen as welcome changes for drivers, who have been frustrated by the stringent regulations that have come with the ELD mandate. We may see an influx of drivers into the workforce as the job becomes more flexible and potentially more lucrative. Shippers might benefit from an increase in capacity which could help them run their supply chains more efficiently.
While nothing is set in stone, it will be interesting to see how these proposals are received and what developments take place if they are put into effect.
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