Federal agencies Research/studies Trucking

Trucker ELDs don’t increase driver harassment, FMCSA report says

Washington – Do truck drivers who use electronic logging devices to record their hours of service experience increased pressure from management to drive while fatigued? A new study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finds that, despite concerns that ELDs may elevate levels of driver harassment, truckers who use the devices are pressured at a rate similar to drivers who are not required to use them.

The study, conducted by FMCSA, followed concerns from trucking groups that claimed federal officials had not collected enough feedback from drivers who used ELDs. In 2011, FMCSA vacated a previous rule after an appeals court determined that carriers could use the devices to harass drivers into working longer hours.

In the study, researchers found similar results between drivers who used ELDs and drivers who used paper logs in categories such as being asked to meet unrealistic schedules (38 percent paper/40 percent ELDs) or being asked to operate when feeling fatigued (16 percent paper/12 percent ELDs). The majority of drivers did not agree on what constituted harassment. However, a percentage of drivers agreed that harassment could include:

  • Interrupting a driver’s off-duty time with a message at an inappropriate time (28 percent)
  • Asking a driver to operate when the driver said he or she was fatigued (28 percent)
  • Asking a driver to log his or her hours incorrectly (26 percent)