ELDs top list of trucking industry's concerns, ATRI survey says

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 10/4/2016

A looming federal mandate on the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) topped the list of trucking industry concerns, a recent survey by the American Transportation Research Institute found.

The annual survey results were generated from 3,285 responses from motor carriers and commercial drivers. Commercial drivers made up 64.5 percent of the respondents, while motor carriers (27.8) and other industry stakeholders (7.7) accounted for the rest.

According to the survey, the industry’s top 10 concerns are as follows:

  • ELD mandate
  • Hours of service
  • The cumulative economic impact of trucking regulations
  • Truck parking
  • National economy
  • CSA
  • Driver shortage
  • Driver retention
  • Infrastructure/congestion/funding
  • Driver distraction

The ELD mandate jumped to the top of the list after registering as No. 6 last year. The mandate is scheduled to begin in December 2017, but the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is fighting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule in court. Oral arguments were held on Sept. 13 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The three-judge panel will now consider the written and oral arguments presented by both OOIDA and FMCSA in the coming months. There is no set deadline on when the judges must return an opinion.

Twenty-four percent of the survey’s respondents considered the ELD mandate to be the trucking industry’s top concern. More than 40 percent deemed it among the top three concerns.

Hours of service dropped to the No. 2 spot after topping the list in each of the previous three years.

The cumulative economic impact of trucking regulations makes the list’s top 10 for the first time in the history of the ATRI survey, which started in 2005.

“The addition of the cumulative impact of trucking regulations to the top 10 is reflective of the burden everyone in the industry is feeling with the increasing and often costly regulatory requirements,” said Rebecca Brewster, the president and COO of ATRI. “There’s a lot out there with ELDs, speed limiters and greenhouse gas. Everyone is trying to understand what the impact will be.”

Truck parking continues to be a growing concern in the industry as it moves up from No. 5 last year and first entered the top 10 at No. 8 in 2012.

The nation’s economy completes this year’s top five list of concerns. CSA drops to No. 6 after being the No. 2 concern last year.

Brewster said the survey was conducted from the last week of July until mid-September. The timing of the study may be the reason a notice of proposed rulemaking on speed limiters published on Sept. 7 did not make the top 10, she said.

For the survey’s full report, click here.

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