How New Laws and Regulations Are Changing the Trucking Industry

trucking industry

With a new administration in Washington, it is to be expected that there would be new laws and regulations implemented in many industries. The trucking industry is no exception, with several changes impacting how fleets are operated, how drivers perform their duties, and how vehicles must be maintained. Some of these laws will have minimal impact while others could cause significant changes in the way trucking companies do business.

Electronic Logging Devices

In December 2017, mandated Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations went into effect. Because proposed rules could limit drivers to between 60 and 70 hours in seven or eight days, ELDs will easily be able to track a driver’s hours behind the wheel. Drivers have been concerned that the ELD will lead to over-monitoring by employers, although all the ELD does is keep accurate records. However, the ELD cannot transfer data as it must be uploaded by the driver.

If pulled for a roadside inspection, the inspector can request that the driver upload the ELD for the last eight days. The ELD is actually a benefit to drivers as it eliminates deadhead miles, eliminates paper logs and helps keep records accurate. Inspections are performed more quickly and the ELD can also store important data like speed, location and the engine date.

Carbon Emissions

Another regulation that will have an impact on the trucking industry is related to greenhouse gases. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued greenhouse gas stages in three stages in August 2012. In Phase 2, which begins this year, phases in initial standards for engines built for model year 2021 with increases in standards in 2024 and leveling off in 2027. This could mean additional costs passed to carriers from manufacturers as they work to meet the new standards.

However, the new standards should also reduce fuel consumption, which will allow carriers to possibly recoup those costs in two years. When the regulations were released, there were concerns that the new requirements could make vehicles unreliable, leading to additional truck repairs at shops like Florida Truck & Trailer CO.

Truck repair experts reported that, when the first phase of the regulations was implemented, 46 percent of owners experienced some type of engine problem in the first year, up from 42 percent in 2011. The most common problem was the electronic control module calibration with 23 percent of owners reporting those problems. The second was the exhaust gas recirculation valves with 20 percent and third was electronic engine sensors with 16 percent. All of these were critical to the new carbon emissions requirements.

Drug Testing Changes

In November 2017, the Department of Transportation published new regulations for drug testing of drivers which went into effect on January 1, 2018. Under the new regulations, four semi-synthetic opioids have been added to the screening process. These include:

  • hydrocodone
  • hydromorphone
  • oxycodone
  • oxymorphone

They also replaced MDEA with MDA. Employers are no longer required to submit blind specimens to laboratories. Collectors will discard samples provided if there is not enough for a test in order to modify the shy bladder procedure. The regulation also limits collection to urine samples.
These are just a few of the regulations that could have an impact on the trucking industry over the next year. In some cases, the ramifications could be felt for several years.

Carsurfer Admin

One Comment on "How New Laws and Regulations Are Changing the Trucking Industry"

  1. James King says:

    I think there must be add some rules for truck drivers as well. As there are much accidents happens on highway by commercial trucks.