FMCSA Denies ELD Exemptions for Small Carriers


There is no further delay expected in the final phase-in for Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has denied ELD exemptions to small-business truckers.  

The FMCSA has announced it has denied an application, filed over a year ago, by the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) for ELD exemptions for carriers with fewer than 50 employees. The application included but was not limited to one-person private or for-hire owner-operators. However, the FMCSA took the view that the application failed to provide enough evidence that safety would not be compromised under this exemption. The FMCSA says in its ruling, that it received more than 1,900 comments on the request and estimates that over 95% of the comments were in favor of the exemption. 

The Agency says that it denied the application because the SBTC does not meet the regulatory standards. In the application, the FMCSA added that the SBTC failed to “explain how you would ensure that you could achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation.” 

In making its request, the SBTC said the ELD rule is not a safety regulation but it is “merely a tool to determine compliance with an existing rule that regulates over-the-road drivers’ driving and on-duty time.”   

ELDs to Increase Safety Records 

Despite this application for ELD exemption, the technology has been welcomed within other quarters in the trucking industry, with a view that it will be safer for drivers and harder to forge records.  

The American Trucking Association, (the ATA) says that this application would not lead to a safer work environment for drivers. “This would allow for the potential of falsification of records of duty status (RODS) while leaving no controls in place for enforcement.” The Association added that ELDs will improve driver experiences: “the technical specifications and requirements of ELDs ensure the accuracy of a drivers’ RODS and reduce the likelihood that a driver is operating beyond the federally established limits.” 

Carriers yet to make the switch to ELDs have until December 16, 2019, to comply. If your fleet is yet to switchover, find out how you can migrate easily and efficiently with minimal disruption. Join our webinar with the TCA to learn what you need to know on the pending transition from AOBRDs to ELDs. 

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