Requiring the entire trucking industry to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) will only add costs, according to a coalition of U.S poultry industry groups. The Joint Poultry Industry Human Resources Council, representing the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation, calls the new requirement for all trucks an “unnecessary expense.” The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), cites studies indicating that trucks with electronic logging devices are involved in fewer accidents than those using handwritten paper logs. A highway authorization bill passed by Congress in 2012 empowered DOT’s safety unit to propose the rule, which was published March 28, 2014. “Many of our members have installed ELDs in their fleets and enjoy the benefits of the technology including enhanced recordkeeping and other fleet management tools,” wrote the presidents of the three poultry organizations. “However, many other members continue to successfully utilize paper logs to moniter and comply with hours of service regulations and cannot currently justify the expense of installing electronic records,” they commented. The poultry industry points out that the existing rule already requires ELDs for carriers with a high rate of service violations. “The current proposed rule simply adds more costs to carriers who have proven themselves capable of complying with the current regulations at a high level,” the poultry presidents wrote, adding, “We do not believe that motor carriers who successfully monitor hours of service with paper logs should be required to incur the expense of electronic records.” Proponents of ELDs say they make it more difficult for drivers to avoid taking mandatory breaks to avoid accidents caused by fatigue. Signing the poultry industry’s comments were Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation; Michael J. Brown, president of the National Chicken Council, and John Starkey, president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. Together, they represent 95 percent of the U.S. poultry industry.

  • Victor Grunden

    First, ELD’s are a poor excuse for real EOBR’s. Second, V2V technology is about to make ELD’s and EOBR’s a moot point. Third, transport of livestock and agricultural products has many Hours of Service(HOS)exemptions. Fourth, agricultural transport is often intrastate which is not subject to federal interstate HOS rules(e.g)CA, TX both allows 12 hours driving, no 14 hr time limit. However, when an interstate carrier has excessive wait time at a processors dock, then is expected to drive to a customers dock and deliver post haste, then put in more wait time at that dock, accurate logging can cause a problem. It’s about using the carriers “reefers” as additional storage, transferring directly from truck to truck with minimal warehousing thereby saving on refrigeration cost. That in turn saves on transportation and warehousing costs. It appears to me that this is more about a favor to contract carriers than any real effects on agricultural producers and processors.