BISMARCK, North Dakota — North Dakota businesses that rely on truck drivers for supplies have been experiencing delays due to mandated ELDs (electronic logging devices).
After the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) started to require the electronic logging devices for commercial drivers, delivery times to Dakota Gasification Co. have sometimes doubled or tripled this year, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Dakota Gasification relies on trucks to get supplies to its Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, said Nathan Johnson, senior logistics administrator.
“Deliveries we used to get in one day are now taking three or four,” he said, which in turn slows the plant’s operations.
The devices don’t change the hours of service requirements that drivers must meet. However, they have affected how those hours are counted. Drivers would previously use loading and unloading hours to meet downtime requirements, Johnson said. But drivers no longer have that option because the devices keep running.
“It was already difficult to get shipments into North Dakota,” said Shannon McQuade-Ely of McQuade’s Distributing.
McQuade-Ely said she can’t directly blame the logging devices as a cause because there are other factors like the Transportation Department’s physical requirements and the spread of recreational marijuana legalization that make drivers ineligible. But she has seen a greater difference starting the day the devices went into effect.
North Dakota’s congressional delegation has sought some relief. Both of the state’s U.S. senators have signed on to the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, which would exempt loading and unloading times from the hours of service calculation of driving time.