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With Supreme Court blow to ELD legal challenge, mandate has no roadblocks remaining

ELD on a semi truck dashboardThe Supreme Court on Monday delivered a death blow to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s legal challenge to the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate. With the high court’s rejection, the lawsuit will go no further.

Though there are efforts underway to engage Congress on the issue, spearheaded in part by OOIDA, the issue is likely a nonstarter with lawmakers, multiple sources have told CCJ in recent months. Just five years ago, a Republican-led Congress required the DOT and its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to develop the ELD rule. The mandate also has support from Democrats. Such bi-partisan support doesn’t bode well for any moves to strip the mandate or delay it.

Given this week’s news from the Supreme Court and the likely reluctance of Congress — or the White House, whose DOT has shown no interest in bucking Congress’ orders — to touch the issue, any carriers, particularly small ones, hoping for a reversal of the mandate should transition to seeking compliance options.

“I believe this is game-set-match,” says Joe Rajkovacz, head of regulatory affairs for the Western States Trucking Associations and former owner-operator. “We’ve moved to making sure our members are educated on this issue and we’re encouraging them to not wait until the last minute.”

Rajkovacz notes his group opposed the mandate. It filed opposition comments in 2014 during the public comment period. The “reality now,” Rajkovacz says, “is any optimism that this can be overturned is false hope.”

The American Trucking Associations earlier this week noted its support for the Supreme Court’s decision to effectively uphold the mandate. “We are pleased to see that the Supreme Court will not interfere with the implementation of this important, and Congressionally mandated, safety rule,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spears. “We will continue to support FMCSA as they work toward the December deadline for electronic logging devices and urge them to provide certainty to the industry about when and how to comply with this rule by continuing to move toward implementing this regulation on schedule.”

CCJ earlier this year published an in-depth ELD buyers’ guide to help carriers understand compliance options. See the links below to read about pricing, suppliers and more.

Flipping the e-log switch: CCJ’s comprehensive ELD buyers’ guide explains compliance options for carriers

Since the 2015 release of a rule requiring truckers to use ELDs to track hours of service, there’s been a rising swell of ELD development. ...

The two ELD options: Smartphone-based platforms vs. dedicated devices

Though there are plenty of variations, two types of ELDs have emerged: Dedicated units and so-called BYOD ("bring your own device") systems. More here in ...

ELD Buyers’ Guide: How drivers, ELDs track duty status

From CCJ's comprehensive ELD guide: While electronic logs generally automate parts of logkeeping and in some ways simplify the rest, they still require direct driver ...

ELDs: The price of compliance

More from CCJ's comprehensive ELD buyers' guide: While the $1,000-plus onboard systems with expensive ongoing costs in maintenance and subscriptions haven’t gone away entirely, many ...

More than tracking hours: Features abound with modern ELDs

Continuing CCJ's comprehensive ELD buyers' guide: From built-in dashcams to scanners and transportation management software (TMS) system integration capabilities, electronic logging devices do more, often ...


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James Jaillet is Senior Editor for Overdrive and the Commercial Carrier Journal. Reach him at