FMCSA Allows Partial ELD Exemption
In less than two months, truckers will be required by law to drop their paper logbooks in favor of electronic logging devices.
Protests continue to roll on, as truckers across the country voice their concerns against the mandate. Some have said it is too far-reaching, and claim that it will hurt business in the industry.
Though there’s no signs that point to a repeal, certain exemptions have already been granted. One such exemption will allow truckers to change their status on these devices remotely – at least for a period of time.
The latest exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that drivers will be allowed to change their work status outside their vehicle on mobile devices for at least five years.
Freeing drivers from the burden of having to be in their cab to change their status provides a little more breathing room in an industry that is quickly becoming locked down by regulatory controls. Those who take advantage of this exemption will need to annotate the changes accordingly, but will be granted a waiver at the request of UPS.
For drivers who have to make frequent stops, often get delayed, or have to change their status quickly, this exemption can be very helpful in the long-run. Another exemption granted around the same time will let drivers perform multiple yard moves without having to re-enter such moves into the device.
There were a couple of requested exemptions denied to UPS, including one that would provide exceptions for short-haul drivers. This could be viewed as somewhat similar to an exemption given to short-term rentals (eight days or less), an exemption campaigned for and won by the Truck Renting and Leasing Association.
An exemption was also denied for carriers using less-complex devices, that may have benefited from a phase-in period.
A water-hauling company with locations in the Montana area had a requested exemption denied, originally claiming that ELDs impaired the visibility of drivers in their single-seat cabs. However, regulators determined that driving without the device would be even less safe.
A grace period for the mandate is expected to begin after December 18 and run through April 1.