Obama Signs MAP-21(Highway Bill) Into Law – It’s Official!

           Are your drivers required to maintain their hours of service ?  Are they still manually logging their time into a daily log book?  Well, according to the new highway bill signed by President Obama, and backed by the American Trucking Association (ATA), all commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate commerce, and operated by a driver required to report hours of service (HOS), will soon be mandated to use electronic logs.

            On Friday, July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the short-term highway bill known as 'Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act', or 'MAP-21'.  This two-year highway bill will provide federal funding of transportation programs through September 2014.  One provision to note, is the requirement that all motor carriers involved in interstate commerce, and subject to the provisions of CFR49, part 395, will be mandated to equip their commercial motor vehicles (CMV) with an electronic on-board recording device (EOBR).  This measure aims at improving the HOS compliance of a CMV operator.   It should also be noted that the highway bill calls for a field study on the new hours of service 34-hour restart provision.  This Act requires the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) to have these regulations in place within one year of the MAP-21 highway bill signing.  Carriers then have two years to comply with the mandate.

            General provisions of MAP-21 require the EOBR to accurately record commercial driver hours of service, as well as the GPS location of a CMV.  An important factor to consider when planning your transition strategy to electronic logging  is, how much time will it take to transition? I suppose it depends on your fleet size and the supply/demand/cost factor of the EOBRs.  Getting your company ahead of the curve will only add to your successful implementation of the electronic logging mandate.  Imagine a situation where your fleet of 30 trucks is well on their way to being EOBR equipped, and 2 months away form the compliance deadline.  However, 10 of your EOBR units are on back order from the manufacturer due to the high demand induced by the highway bill.  You are told that the shipment will not be ready to deliver for at least one month.  Will you risk dispatching those 10 units out of compliance, or put them out of service?  It is a good idea to be proactive, and bring your required units into compliance as soon as possible.  There are too many factors out of your control, such as driver comprehension of electronic logging, EOBR manufacturer supply, and increased unit prices.  By leading a preemptive strike to transition into electronic logging, you can avoid these unforeseen risks, and be in control.

            Whether you are a current Profit Tools customer currently using EOBR's, or not quite there yet, this new mandate will effect how your fleets comply with federal hours of service regulations, within the next three years.  Don't wait to comply, let Profit Tools work with you to improve your current reporting and compliance methods through the Mobile Communications Interface Module, and get ahead of the competition!

            Please visit our dispatch and mobile solutions page for more detailed information on how Profit Tools can help!  You can also email Profit Tools, or simply call our office at 603-659-3822.


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