A trade group representing electrical contractors is seeking an exemption from the electronic logging device mandate for its members.
The National Electrical Contractors Association, which represents 4,000 members who install, repair and maintain the infrastructure of electrical utilities, says these companies drive commercial utility vehicles as a secondary responsibility and not as a primary job duty. NECA adds that these workers spend most of their day not driving and doing other tasks related to their jobs.
The group states the operation of commercial vehicles by the line workers that would be covered under the exemption “is so limited that the ELD requirement is triggered infrequently,” according to the notice published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Wednesday in the Federal Register. Because of how rarely the ELD requirements would be triggered by its members, NECA says if the exemption is not granted, it would be “cumbersome” for its members to meet the costs of the ELD mandate.
If granted the exemption, the group says its commercial drivers would fully comply with hours-of-service requirements and keep paper logs when required.
NECA says it is unclear how many how many drivers would be covered under the exemption, but it says one of its “large” contractor members has nearly 14,000 commercial utility vehicles.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.
The new “health-based requirements” will need to be met before a driver is allowed to register his or her truck through the Department of Motor Vehicles, CARB says. For older vehicles, CARB says they must be either replaced with a 2011 or newer vehicle or repowered with a 2010 or newer engine.