PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine truck drivers are under a new federal mandate, starting this week, and some independent truckers don’t like it. The new mandate requires most big trucks to install electronic log devices – called ELD’s – to track how long drivers are on the road.
Under federal law, they can’t drive any more than 11 hours in one 14 hour shift, and most take off ten hours between shifts. Up to now, drivers have tracked their time using their daily log books to show they’re complying with the rules. The ELD’s will now do it automatically.
Independent trucker Jake McDaniel of Lewiston says the new devices make his life and work more difficult, McDaniel told NEWS CENTER drivers need some flexibility to make minor adjustments to the log, within an eight-minute range, to avoid violations. He said electronic monitoring won’t permit that, but won’t make the roads any safer.
“ Guys like me,” said McDaniel, “I own the tuck, have to repair it pay all the bills, I'm not going to risk my life or the public life. The owner-operators are the safest guys on the road because we have to take responsibility for it. “
McDaniel claims the mandate was the result of pressure from large, national trucking companies, and that independents didn’t have a voice on the matter in Washington.
The safety director for R.C. Moore Trucking in Scarborough said the mandate won’t change anything for his company, because Moore’s fleet has been using the electronic devices voluntarily for several years. David Daley he believes said the new law will ensure all truckers follow the same safety requirements.
McDaniel said it should be voluntary, and not forced on truckers by the government.