Two pro-ELD Arkansas lawmakers get a lunch for their troub

January 29, 2018

Greg Grisolano


The American Trucking Associations is taking two Arkansas lawmakers to lunch as a thank-you for their support of the electronic logging device mandate.

Rep. Rick Crawford and his colleague Rep. Bruce Westerman will be the guests of honor on January 30, as ATA celebrates its relationship with the two Republican lawmakers, according to an article in a recent issue of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Truckers may recognize the lawmakers from their comments made from the floor last September when both voiced their opposition to an amendment to a federal spending bill that would have delayed the ELD mandate for two years. The amendment, offered by Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, ultimately failed to muster enough support to be included in the bill. It failed by a vote of 173 to 246.

Crawford called Babin’s bill, “well-intentioned” during a discussion of the 2018 spending bill last September, but withheld his support.

During his remarks at the same hearing, Westerman said it was “too late in the game” to change the rule.

But what would the lawmakers say to the 1,500 or so OOIDA members who live in their districts? Those folks overwhelmingly support a delay or repeal of the mandate.

We reached out to both Congressmen to find out if they had anything they wanted to say to those constituents. Westerman’s office did not respond, but Crawford issued the following statement, putting the blame for problems with ELDs off the devices and on the current hours of service.

“The ELD debate has largely ignored that what is unfair to the trucking community isn’t the ELD’s themselves, but rather FMCSA’s restrictive hours of service regulations that the ELD’s will track,” Crawford said in an email response to Land Line. “When I visit with trucking companies of any size, the number-one complaint I hear is that they can’t drive when they want or when makes the most sense for them, and that’s a problem.”

Crawford also said he plans to “continue working with all interested parties” to make hours of service requirements fairer. But he stopped short of offering any specific details or plans for accomplishing that goal.