Violating Truckers’ Rights? A Quick Peek at the New ELD Regulation

truck driver opening the truck doorTruckers deal with many safety regulations. If they break any one of them, it can mean losing their commercial driver’s license and their livelihood. That is tough, but most commercial drivers make it work.

However, the federal government is imposing a new regulation yet again — the ELD regulation. Truckers are not happy about it; ask any truck driver rights lawyer in Washington. Here is a quick peek at the new ELD regulation.

What is ELD?

ELD stands for electronic logging device. The government is requiring truck companies to use one to log hours of service (HOS). The ELD replaces the logbooks truck drivers have been using for years.

Regulators believe using ELDs will make truck drivers safer and more efficient. However, truckers disagree. They believe it violates their right to privacy. The rule went into effect in mid-December 2017.


The deadline for putting in ELDs for trucking companies was April 2018. They can use smartphones or other devices that will record their HOS and can transfer the data to law enforcement. Owner-operators have two years to start using ELDs. Truck drivers exempt from HOS rules do not have to use ELDs.


One of the biggest problems truckers have with ELD is it does not account for downtime. Truck driver salaries are by the mile. The ELD monitors hours of service.

However, truck drivers do not spend all their time driving. They spend a lot of time combined in loading and unloading cargo, looking for parking, and other non-driving activities.

Privacy Issues

The ELD rule supposedly protects truck drivers from employers that force them to work more than the maximum 70 hours a week. Truck driver groups say that the ELD rule violates their privacy by tracking them through their e-log data.

Regulators and law enforcement can only access the data for compliance, inspection, and accident investigation purposes. However, the police or regulators can pull over drivers at any time.

ELD rules pose a challenge for many truckers. A truck driver rights lawyer in Washington will know exactly what to do when a client is in danger of losing his or her license because of an ELD violation.