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FMCSA Temporarily Waives ELD Requirements for Some Carriers

Thursday, February 15, 2018
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted three 90-day limited waivers for certain carriers subject to the electronic logging device (ELD) rule. Phased-in compliance with the ELD rule began on Dec. 18, 2017.

The waivers were granted to motor carriers that are:

  • Involved in the transportation of agricultural commodities;
  • Involved in the rental or leasing of vehicles for 30 or fewer days; or
  • Using the PeopleNet ELD system.

The waivers are intended to give motor carriers in these groups additional time to address compliance issues that are beyond their control.

ACTION STEPS

Affected motor carriers should evaluate the terms and conditions of each waiver to determine whether they are eligible for temporary relief from ELD compliance.

Temporary Waiver for Agricultural Commodities

On Dec. 20, 2017, the FMCSA issued a limited 90-day wavier from the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for the transportation of agricultural commodities. This waiver was issued in response to a request from organizations representing transporters of livestock and other agricultural products. The FMCSA issued its waiver in order to have sufficient time to evaluate how ELD requirements affect the unique issues that exist in the transport of agricultural commodities.

Terms and Conditions of Waiver

The waiver is effective from Dec. 18, 2017, to March 18, 2018, and exempts motor carriers from ELD requirements if they transport agricultural commodities under the provisions of 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1). The waiver applies regardless of the distance traveled.
The waiver does not release affected carriers and commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) from any other applicable FMCSA requirement, including the preparation of records of duty status (RODS) for operations.
The following conditions must be met to qualify for this waiver:

  • Motor carriers must have a “satisfactory” safety rating from the FMCSA (no rating will also be accepted). Motor carriers with “conditional” or “unsatisfactory” safety ratings cannot take advantage of this waiver;
  • Drivers must carry a copy of the Federal Register notification and present it to motor carrier safety enforcement officials upon request; and
  • Motor carriers operating under this waiver must notify the FMCSA within five business days of any accident that involves one of their drivers who is operating under the terms of the waiver.

Accident Notification

Accident notifications must be emailed to MCPSD@dot.gov. These notifications must include the following information:

  • Identity of waiver—“AG”;
  • Date of the accident;
  • City or town, and state, in which the accident occurred (or closest to the accident scene);
  • Driver’s name and license number;
  • Co-driver’s name and license number (if applicable);
  • Vehicle number and state license number;
  • Number of individuals suffering physical injury;
  • Number of fatalities;
  • The police-reported cause of the accident;
  • Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws or motor carrier safety regulations; and
  • The total driving time and total on-duty time period prior to the accident.

Temporary Waiver for Truck Rentals

On Jan. 19, 2018, the FMCSA issued a limited three-month ELD waiver for property-carrying CMVs that are rented for a period of no more than 30 days. This waiver becomes effective on Jan. 19, 2018 and expires on Apr. 19, 2018.
This waiver was in response to a request from the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc. (TRALA). The waiver will allow the agency time to determine:

  • How to address issues that may arise if the motor carrier’s ELD technology is incompatible with the rental company’s platform (affecting data transfer between the two systems); and
  • Whether the rental company or the motor carrier is liable for the data produced by the rented CMV’s ELD.

Terms and Conditions of Waiver

This waiver is effective from its date of publication through 90 days. The waiver covers any property-carrying CMV that is rented for 30 or fewer days, regardless of the reason for the rental. The waiver does not release affected carriers and CMVs from any other applicable FMCSA requirement, including the preparation of RODS for operations.
The following conditions must be met to qualify for this waiver:

  • Motor carriers must have a satisfactory safety rating from the FMCSA (no rating will also be accepted). Motor carriers with conditional or unsatisfactory safety ratings cannot take advantage of this waiver;
  • Drivers must carry a copy of the Federal Register notification and present it to motor carrier safety enforcement officials upon request; and
  • Motor carriers operating under this waiver must notify the FMCSA within five business days of any accident that involves one of their drivers who is operating under the terms of the waiver.

The FMCSA expects that any drivers or carriers operating under the terms and conditions of this waiver will maintain their safety record. The FMCSA will immediately revoke waivers where any safety problems are discovered or if the terms and conditions of the waiver are not followed.

Accident Notification

Accident notifications must be emailed to MCPSD@dot.gov. These notifications must include the following information:

  • Identity of waiver—”TRALA”;
  • Date of the accident;
  • City or town, and state, where the accident occurred (or closest to the accident scene);
  • Driver’s (and co-driver’s, as applicable) name and license number;
  • Vehicle number and state license number;
  • Number of individuals suffering physical injury;
  • Number of fatalities;
  • The police-reported cause of the accident;
  • Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws or motor carrier safety regulations; and
  • The total driving time and total on-duty time period prior to the accident.

Temporary Waiver for PeopleNet ELD System

On Jan. 19, 2018, the FMCSA issued a 90-day limited waiver for motor carriers that are experiencing issues with the integration of PeopleNet’s ELD software into fleet management systems. The waiver was issued at the request of Old Dominion Freight Lines, Inc. (Old Dominion). The waiver is effective from Dec. 18, 2017, to March 18, 2018.

Old Dominion’s Request

Currently, the PeopleNet automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) software allows carriers to configure certain sessions. If the settings were not adjustable, the PeopleNet AOBRD would be similar to, but not identical to, the FMCSA’s ELD technical specifications. Although Old Dominion has configured its settings in the PeopleNet AOBRD it uses, certain AOBRD software changes must be made by PeopleNet, including:

  • Eliminating the “skip” feature;
  • Limiting the auto-duty driving status change threshold to 5 miles; and
  • Limiting geo-fencing of yards to a 0.5-mile radius.

When these changes are fully implemented and the operational controls are in place, the PeopleNet system used by Old Dominion will provide an equivalent level of safety while the integration of the ELD software is completed.
Old Dominion requested a 90-day waiver to have sufficient time to install ELDs that use PeopleNet’s AOBRD software that meets the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15, rather than ELD software that meets the requirements of Subpart B to Part 395, for any truck added to its fleet on or after Dec. 18, 2017. Old Dominion sustained that a temporary limited waiver would allow relief until the company’s fleet management software can be fully integrated with PeopleNet’s ELD software.
The FMCSA has agreed to grant this waiver to Old Dominion and any other motor carriers facing similar challenges integrating PeopleNet’s ELD software into their fleet management systems.

Terms and Conditions of Waiver

This waiver covers Old Dominion and other motor carriers experiencing similar challenges resulting from PeopleNet’s software for the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. (Eastern time) on Dec. 18, 2017, continuing through 11 p.m. on March 18, 2018.
The scope of this waiver is strictly limited to 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1)(i) and Subpart B of 49 CFR Part 395, Electronic Logging Devices. Old Dominion and other motor carriers with similar situations related to PeopleNet’s recent software release must comply with all other applicable FMCSA requirements.
Motor carriers operating under this waiver must ensure that drivers maintain a RODS with a device that meets AOBRD requirements. In addition, the following restrictions apply:

  • During the waiver period, vehicles may be added to the fleet only if the vehicle is equipped with ELD hardware, capable of running the PeopleNet ELD software;
  • The AOBRD must transfer data directly into the motor carrier’s fleet management and safety systems, allowing its dispatchers to know precisely where drivers are at any given time and how many hours drivers have available under federal HOS rules;
  • The motor carrier will use AOBRD settings similar to those outlined in Old Dominion’s waiver request;
  • The motor carrier must notify the FMCSA within five days of an accident involving any commercial motor vehicles operating under the terms of this waiver; and
  • The PeopleNet system must be modified to disable or adjust the settings as outlined below:
    • Eliminate the skip feature;
    • Limit the auto-duty driving status change threshold to 5 miles or less; and
    • Limit the geo-fencing yard time limit to a 0.5-mile radius or less. If it is determined that this software has not been changed, this waiver does not apply.

Accident Notification

Accident notifications under the restrictions mentioned above must be sent to MCPSD@dot.gov via email and include the following information:

Application for Exemption

In addition to the waiver, Old Dominion has also submitted an application for exemption to the FMCSA in behalf of carriers experiencing issues with the PeopleNet system. If granted, the exemption would be for one year with a retroactive effective date of Dec. 18, 2017.
In Old Dominion’s view, this exemption would allow carriers sufficient time to integrate necessary modifications between their fleet system and the PeopleNet system to comply with the ELD rule. Comments regarding this exemption must be submitted to the FMCSA by March 2, 2018.

More Information

Please contact The Horton Group, Inc.  or visit the FMCSA website for more information on ELDs, HOS and other FMCSA requirements.

© 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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