FMCSA announces denial of 10 ELD exemption requests

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FMCSA announced in a Federal Register notice it has denied 10 ELD exemption requests.FMCSA announced in a Federal Register notice it has denied 10 ELD exemption requests.

In a Federal Register notice set to be published Friday, Dec. 7, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced the denial of 10 electronic logging device exemption requests from various trade organizations and associations.

The agency officially denied the requests in June and July, but it is required to publicly announce the denials in the Federal Register.

FMCSA’s latest ELD exemption request denials are:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association: OOIDA asked the agency for a five-year exemption for small trucking businesses that do not have an “unsatisfactory” safety rating and have no at-fault crashes.

FMCSA said in its denial that the association’s request challenged the basis of the ELD rule itself rather than justifying an exemption and provided no consideration “of the significant difficulty that would be encountered in trying to identify and validate drivers who meet the proposed exemption criteria, especially during roadside inspections.”

OOIDA announced the denial in July, but did not go into specifics about why the request was denied.

Power and Communication Contractors Association: PCCA requested that carriers and drivers operating trucks in the power and communications construction industry be allowed to use paper logs instead of ELDs. The group said these drivers spend considerable time off-road on varying jobsites, and a single truck may have multiple drivers each day, moving the truck short distances around a jobsite. The group added that the drivers spend a limited time driving on public roads.

FMCSA’s denial said the agency couldn’t ensure the exemption would provide a requisite level of safety.

Western Equipment Dealers Association: WEDA requested an ELD exemption on behalf of several organization and their members that would eliminate the requirement for agricultural equipment dealers to install ELDs in their trucks. The group said equipment dealer operations in agriculture “present unique circumstances that warrant the requested exemption and that the failure to grant it would pose an undue burden” on dealers and their customers.

FMCSA denied the exemption because it could not ensure an adequate level of safety.

Association of Energy Service Companies: The requested exemption would have, if granted, allowed drivers of well service rigs to use paper logs instead of ELDs when exceeding the short-haul exemption requirements. The group said complying with the ELD mandate would be “overly burdensome” for well service rig contractors who spend little time on public roads.

FMCSA again said the it could not ensure that the exemption would provide an adequate level of safety in its denial.

Cudd Energy Services: Cudd’s exemption request was for its “specially-trained drivers of specially-constructed” trucks used in oilfield operations. It would have, if granted, allowed the drivers to use paper logs instead of ELDs.

FMCSA denied the request because it couldn’t ensure it would meet safety requirements.

SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker Association: These groups sought an ELD exemption on behalf of their fresh produce shippers and small truck business members. The exemption would have allowed members to delay using ELDs for one year from the Dec. 18, 2017, compliance date. The groups said the exemption would give the marketplace time to develop cost-effective and practical solutions for ELDs.

FMCSA denied the request because the information provided “failed to distinguish the drivers who would be included under the exemption” and that it failed to show how the exemption would meet the same level of safety as using ELDs.

American Disposal Service: The trash hauling and recycling company sought an exemption from both ELDs and paper logs because it doesn’t believe ELDs can accurately record driving time when the truck makes constant short movements with the driver often exiting the truck. The company normally operates under the multiple stop rule, treating all stops in a town as one, and the 100 air-mile radius short-haul exemption. However, its drivers sometimes exceed the 12-hour driving limit eight days out of 30, which would require the company to install ELDs.

FMCSA said ADS did not clearly explain how its non-use of ELDs and its discontinued use of paper logs would be as safe as operating under hours of service rules.

Towing and Recovery Association of America: TRAA requested a five-year exemption of drivers of trucks owned or leased to providers of towing, recovery and roadside repair services while performing those services. The group said its operations warrant an ELD exemption, and that it planned to continue using paper logs and reviewing the logs to verify their accuracy.

FMCSA’s denial said that would have provided a comparable level of safety provided by paper logs before the ELD mandate, but it is not equivalent to the safety that ELDs provide.

National Electrical Contractors Association: This group requested an ELD exemption for those who install, repair and maintain the infrastructure of electrical utilities. The group said in its request that it believes ELDs would burden its members unnecessarily, and it proposed to continue using paper logs.

FMCSA said it was unable to determine from the request whether operations under the exemption would equal the safety benefits of ELDs.

Agricultural Retailers Association: ARA requested the exemption for its members who are retailers and distributors of farm-related products and services. It said in its request its members rely on commercial vehicles to deliver products and services to farms, and that its members were not prepared to meet the Dec. 18, 2017, deadline and sought postponement of the ELD mandate.

FMCSA said it couldn’t determine if the same level of safety would be achieved with the exemption as with ELDs.

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