American truckers have a new duty that not everyone likes. They have to install tachographs

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The protest of the Americans against the introduction of a new duty has not brought any results. From 18 December 2017 all drivers in the U.S. have to record their working hours in the electronic devices, not in paper books as it has been so far.

For almost 80 years American truckers used paper books, in which they recorded their working time and rest periods. However, in the second half of December new regulations came in force, under which all American trucks must be equipped with a tachograph (ELD- Electronic Logging Device). This means stricter enforcement of federal rules on working hours, which according to American authorities have a positive impact on road safety. In December 2015 the USA authorities decided on the introduction of tachographs.

The ratio of working time to rest has not changed – the driver can work 14 hours, of which driving can last maximum 11 hours. Then the driver must take a 10-hour break.

Protest of truckers and carriers

Although the ideas for the new regulations seemed to be good, the drivers clearly showed their disapproval and organised the protest campaign called „Operation Black and Blue”.

In principle the ELD is supposed to increase road safety and save time the truckers spend on paperwork (even up to 20 hours per year). For the Americans tachographs mean excessive control over civil liberties and the threat.

The carriers from the U.S. opt for simple reasonable regulations as, according to them, the industry is affected with a major problem of overregulation. Many of them said that they will not fulfil the new requirement.

Every fourth truck without tachograph

The surveys conducted among carriers and drivers suggest that the biggest transport companies installed the devices in their vehicles already before 18 December. However, smaller carriers and independent truckers were not prepared for the change of the regulations.

According to Telectrac Navman, the manufacturer of tachographs, 70-80 percent of the enterprises have installed tachographs.

Those who did not comply with the new requirement are mostly smaller companies or independent truck drivers, who hoped to delay introducing the provision – announced on the Marco Encinas, Teletrac Navman product manager. – It’s a crazy time for everyone in the industry – he added.