Truck drivers upset over new requirement - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Truck drivers upset over new requirement

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PORTAGE (WKOW) -- -

Truck drivers are upset over a new mandate that requires their every move be tracked. Some are comparing the Electronic Logging Device to an ankle monitor for criminals.

Truck drivers gathered in Portage on Monday to argue the ELDs will do more harm than good when out on the roads.

"One of the biggest complaints I have with it is that it's monitoring every minute of every hour," said Lee Schmitt.

Truck drivers are calling this new mandate is disruptive and unsafe. It goes into effect in two weeks. 

"They don't want you to stop and take a nap," said Brad Christianson "They just want you to go, go, go. You could be half an hour from home, but you'll have to stop for a 10-hour break that makes absolutely no sense at all."

The devices tell truck drivers when they need to stop for breaks. Even if they're not tired. Even if they don't, they would be breaking the law. Some drivers say it will make drivers try to beat the clock. The devices are expensive, compared to keeping track of time with pen and paper. Owner-Operators will have to pay for them out of their own pockets.

"There is a recurring monthly cost from $20 - $50 per truck. There's 350 million truck drivers in this country. It's going to cost a lot more money that what it's going to save," said Michael Bembenek.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the devices will save trucking companies $1.6 Billion per year by eliminating paperwork costs and increasing fuel efficiency. The mandate is set to go in to effect on December 18.

A number of the drivers brought more attention to the issue. They drove their big rigs to the State Capitol in Madison, in hopes of getting some support from state lawmakers.

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