Truckers driving rentals for eight days or fewer exempt from ELDs

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Truckers driving short-term rental trucks for eight days or fewer at a time will not be required to keep logs with an electronic logging device while in the rental due to an exemption granted to the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA).

Under the terms of the exemption, drivers will still be subject to the hours-of-service rules and must maintain paper logs for the current and prior seven days, if required. Drivers must also keep a copy of the rental agreement in the truck to show law enforcement, along with a copy of the exemption notice, while operating under the exemption.

Operating under the exemption for longer than eight days will be considered a violation of the exemption and a failure to use an ELD, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

TRALA – which is made up of Ryder, Penske and other commercial vehicle renting and leasing companies – said in its exemption request in March it supports the ELD rule, but that the rule will “unfairly and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles.”

The group asked for the exemption on truck rentals of 30 days or fewer, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration determined an exemption period of up to 30 days “is unnecessarily long given the importance of ELDs to ensure the accuracy of HOS records.”

FMCSA says the having the exemption apply to rentals of eight days or fewer “would give most carriers sufficient time to repair or replace their usual vehicles.” The agency settled on eight days because it matches the ELD malfunction window in the mandate, which requires drivers to reconstruct their record of duty status for the current 24-hour period and the previous seven consecutive days in the event of an ELD malfunction.

It will be considered a violation of the exemption and a failure to use an ELD if evidence is found that a carrier has replaced a rental truck with another on eight-day cycles, or attempted to renew a rental agreement for the same truck for an additional eight days.

Of the 429 comments received by FMCSA on TRALA’s exemption request, the agency says more than 95 percent supported the exemption. Groups in favor include the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association and more. Opponents of the request included the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

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