Sikhs truckers seek delay in installation of ELD

14 November, 2017

Washington: An Indian-American delegation representing the truckers' industry, dominated by the Sikh- Americans, has urged the Trump administration to delay by one year the mandatory installation of an expensive logging device in trucks. The new regulation, to be effective from December 18, will require almost all commercial trucks, unless a truck is in an exempted class, to buy and operate an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) to record the hours they are on and off duty.   


According to an unofficial estimate, this new rule would have an adverse impact on nearly 150,000 Indian-origin truck drivers, a majority of whom are Sikhs and from Punjab. A petition signed by more than 40 Indian-American small trucker companies was submitted by a delegation led by Gurinder Singh Khalsa, of Sikhs Political Action Committee and Harsh Sethi, president of North America Punjabiz Trucker Association to the Department of Transportation.   


"Our members' industry is not fully prepared to meet the December 18, 2017, compliance date," the petition said.   Noting that the current ELD retail marketplace does not accommodate the needs of its impacted industry segment, the petition said the devices are not able to factor in existing HOS (hours of service) exemptions currently being utilised by fresh produce hauliers.   


The current ELD self-certification system is completely inadequate and needs to be revised where all ELD devices sold are Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration certified.   "We suggest a process similar to the process used by the agency to certify medical examiners," the petition said. In recent weeks, representatives of the trucking industry have met the US Vice-President Mike Pence and held meetings at the Capitol to press for their demands.