Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Trucking Toward the American Dream

Trucking Toward the American Dream
By Rep. Kristi Noem

South Dakota is a big state with two major interstates running through. We rely heavily on our local trucking operations, so I take it very seriously when the federal government starts imposing regulations like the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. This U.S. Department of Transportation rule makes it more difficult to reliably move livestock, commodities, and goods through the state.

Time and again, I’ve spoken to South Dakota truckers with deep concerns about the added burden. No one wants to compromise when it comes to safety – especially those who make their living behind the wheel. But no one is looking to change the safety protocols. The Hours of Service Regulations, which limit the amount of time truckers can spend on the road, remain in place no matter what. The question is really about whether to require those hours to be recorded by a costly electronic device or by hand with old-fashioned pen and paper.

In December, I co-sponsored legislation that would put a two-year delay on this mandate. This would give additional time for further research into the impact on trucking operations, particularly small companies and those that haul live animals.

Earlier this month, I also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation to request exemptions for small trucking businesses with exemplary safety records, saving these drivers with the tightest profit margins the $500 it costs annually to comply with the ELD mandate.

I believe strongly in evidence-based policymaking, and I have significant concerns about the questions left unanswered regarding the ELD mandate. Until more can be learned about the mandate’s efficacy and practical impact, I believe we need to delay this rule and work toward a solution in which South Dakota truckers can continue operating safely while pursuing their American Dream.

16 Replies to “Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Trucking Toward the American Dream”

  1. Gail Brock

    Thank you Kristi for your hard work on this issue. People do not realize how this mandate is going to affect everyone, not just the truckers. It means higher costs for food and any other items which are shipped via truck. This mandate is an unnecessary overreach of government once again!

    1. Anonymous

      No it’s not, and to peddle such trash is misleading to everyone who reads it, so please get the facts straight before Monday morning quarterbacking.

  2. Trucker

    NOEM VOTED FOR ELD. Does she really think we are stupid. She is the reason we have this problem. Now she is acting like a champion to fight it. This is absolutely BS

    1. Anonymous

      I was wondering the same thing. This is concerning but I need more information.

      Either way she’s a day late on this.

    2. Anonymous

      100% accurate. Truckers couldn’t get her to lift a finger on this. She “ran a bill” to fix the mess and it got squashed.

      Weak weak weak

    3. Anonymous

      She’s Co-sponsored a bill with Congressman Babin to give truckers another 2 years to get ELDs. A simple google search will tell you that.

      1. Trucker

        AFTER she voted to make electronic log devices law. Her so-called efforts to delay are only necessary because so voted for the law in the first place. So she was for it before she was against it.

        1. Anonymous

          You’re still wrong. It wasn’t voted into law. It was a DOT regulation.

          What she actually voted on was an Appropriations bill- a funding bill- and a member filed an amendment to grant the delay. She, if your statement is correct, voted against the amendment to a funding bill. You shouldn’t legislate on an Approps bill anyways.

          While she may have done that she also Co-Sponsored a bill which is how it should be done anyways.

            1. Anonymous

              Map-21 was literally a series of extensions of SAFETEA-LU. Nothing of substance happened in MAP-21.

              So if this was infact a product of MAP-21, then truckers have almost had a decade or more to get ready for it… because we’re already into year 2 of the FAST Act.

  3. Anonymous

    First of all- she’s wrong that they cost $500- they can be purchased on Amazon for $120 and be fully compliant with the DOT regulations.

    Secondly, truckers have had more than 2 full years to become compliant with the regulations from the initial announcement that they’d be required. One amendment was attached to an appropriations package and it was voted down, by the Republican controlled House of Representatives by a margin of almost 2:1. Another bill has been introduced and it will not be taken up.

    Third, the Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – under President Trump, the American Trucking Association -the largest trucking association lobbying group, and industry have come forward supporting ELDs.

    Fourth- there are numberlous exemptions for the Ag community including exemptions for people driving less than 150 miles.

    Fifth- if you can’t save up $120 for a safety measure geared towards reducing accidents on roads- should you be in business? This is all good governance by doing the least restrictive method to keep people who are violating Hours of Service Regs in-line with everyone else’s who operating legally.

  4. Springer

    It all sounds good admittedly and the price is not the problem. However as with most things, all is not as good as it sounds. The rules for truckers are onerous with these ELDs. It’s just another example of Big Brother knows all.

    1. Anonymous

      It’s not that onerous at all- it’s way more legitimate than someone with 2-5 paper log books, at all driving cross country hopped up on energy drinks & coke. Common now- it literally just records how long your trucks engine has been on.

    1. Anonymous

      Not a Norm staffer- better informed. I would’ve advised her to push for the ELDs to go into effect. How many people die each day in America on the road? Too many, and this is a simple and cheap way to work towards reducing that number down to zero.

      The only reason you’d be against it- is because you want to skirt around the Hours of Service Regs.

      Btw I’ve voted against KN each time she’s on the ballot & I’ll be voting for Sutton over her or Marty every time.