TRALA Concerned by Electronic Logging Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finalized its rule to mandate electronic logging devices in commercial trucks. The rule requires drivers who are currently mandated to file hours-of-service documentation, to do so through electronic means that connects to a vehicle’s engine.

The rule covers technical specifications for ELDs, clarifies the supporting documentation that is required and addresses technical provisions aimed at ensuring that the ELDs are not used to harass truck drivers.  The actual rule’s implementation date would be in December 2017.

TRALA was disappointed to learn that its comments regarding a rental vehicle exemption were not accepted by FMCSA for the final rule. TRALA’s key concerns focused on trucks that may be rented to multiple consumer and commercial entities with varying obligations to comply with logging rules. In addition, TRALA expressed concern that different technology platforms used by so many different drivers and companies could be difficult to reconcile with no clear indication by FMCSA as to whether the owner of the vehicle or the operator would be required to maintain that data.

Even though the vast majority of TRALA member customers would be exempt from the rules (due to the 100-mile and 150-mile radius exemptions), a certain percentage of those customers are mandated currently by HOS regulations. Thus, in effect, the ELD rule could require that every truck in a company’s rental fleet be retrofitted and equipped with an ELD to ensure compliance, whether or not the rental customer needs to utilize the technology.

“While TRALA understands the desire to make trucking as safe and transparent as possible, there are still questions that remain regarding the technology needed and the availability of that technology to satisfy our concerns given the unique nature of renting,” said Jack Jacoby, TRALA president and CEO. “TRALA will continue to work closely with its members, FMCSA, and the telematics companies that are working now on developing the correct technology to ensure rental trucks are not put at a disadvantage compared to other vehicles.”

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