Federal and state officials have given truckers until December to install electronic monitors that track their time on the road. The new devices are meant to make highways safer by keeping drivers from overshooting the hours they are supposed to drive.
But some truckers who get paid by the mile could see their incomes drop with a more accurate accounting of the time it took them to make a delivery. And lower pay could exacerbate a driver shortage in an industry with a reputation for high turnover.
“You’ll see smaller carriers leave the business,” said Rod Nofziger, chief operating officer for the Missouri-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which has 158,000 members.
Since 2003, truckers have been limited to 11 hours of driving during a 14-hour on-duty stretch. Waiting at a loading dock or getting stuck in traffic counts against that time. That tempts truckers to say in their logs that deliveries happened faster than they did. Driving-log violations are the largest share of citations that police issue during truck inspections, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says.
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