New FMCSA Regulations to Take Effect

There are a number of regulations recently proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that will soon take effect. As the trucking industry is well aware, the FMCSA continues to propose, publish, and enforce regulations that have a major impact on how business is done.

The primary regulation making headlines that will soon be in effect is the FMCSA mandate that all interstate trucks have an Electronic Logging Device. These devices are meant to reduce the large amount of paperwork that is already being done by truck drivers and companies, and instead allow drivers to report their duty hours through an electronic device that is hardwired to their truck’s motor.

Known as the ELD Mandate, the rule will give companies two years to comply with its provisions. This rule was first proposed in 2014, and stems from the passage of MAP-21 in 2012 that was supposed to lead the trucking industry into the 21st century through progress mandated by the FMCSA and other agencies.

According to reports, the ELD Mandate will not require a specific type of ELD, as long as whatever ELD is used complies with the specifics of the rule. The FMCSA has confirmed that this can even mean certain cell phones and tablets can be used as long as there is a hard-wired connection to the truck’s motor.

Driver Coercion Rule                              

Another rule the FMCSA wants to publish on the same timeline as the ELD Mandate is the Driver Coercion Rule. This rule was first proposed in 2014 as well, and it would prohibit motor carriers, chippers, receivers, or other transportation intermediaries from covering a driver to brake safety regulations.

The Driver Coercion Rule is unlike anything that the FMCSA has attempted to regulate before. It is not yet clear what types of behavior would constitute coercion under the proposed rule, and as an industry that necessarily works off of deadlines, mandated shipping times, and other constraints, any final rule could be loaded with problems. The final rule was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget on July 2015, and it has been there ever since.

Industry Learning to Deal With Regulations

The trucking industry continues to be inundated with regulations. Learning how to comply with those regulations is key for any company to survive. Federal agencies in Washington, D.C. have the power to shut a company down and really impact the bottom line when they feel like a regulation is not being followed. That is why it is so important for any trucking company to have a legal partner that understands and apply all the state and federal regulations that the industry faces.

At Anderson and Yamada, P.C. our practice is dedicated to serving the needs of the trucking industry. Over several decades we have worked with industry companies to provide them with their legal needs, and we look forward to doing so with your company. If you are a trucking company, contact us. We look forward to working with and serving you.