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Truck Renting and Leasing Association

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FMCSA Posts TRALA ELD Petition in Federal Register

Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) posted the Truck Renting and Leasing Association's (TRALA) petition for an exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule in the Federal Register. In its petition, TRALA is requesting an exemption for short-term rentals, which are rented for 30 days or less. The exemption would last until December 31, 2018. Currently, TRALA members are operating under a 90-day waiver, which allows trucks rented for 30 days or less to continue to use paper logs to record their hours-of-service until April 19, 2018.

Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) posted the Truck Renting and Leasing Association's (TRALA) petition for an exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule in the Federal Register. In its petition, TRALA is requesting an exemption for short-term rentals, which are rented for 30 days or less. The exemption would last until December 31, 2018. Currently, TRALA members are operating under a 90-day waiver, which allows trucks rented for 30 days or less to continue to use paper logs to record their hours-of-service until April 19, 2018.    
 
In its new petition, TRALA is asking for a reasonable amount of time for TRALA members to fully equip their fleets with ELDs and to work with their customers on how to operate ELDs and how best to comply with the new rules for reporting hours-of-service. Furthermore, by requesting for an exemption through the end of 2018, it will avoid disruptions being placed on TRALA members until after the holiday season, when many members have a large number of trucks out on rent.  
 
By posting TRALA's petition in the Federal Register today, the FMCSA is beginning the normal 30-day public comment period. During this time, TRALA will be encouraging all of its members and their customers to submit comments to the FMCSA in support of TRALA's petition. Last year, when the FMCSA was considering TRALA's exemption petition, over 300 comments were submitted on TRALA's exemption, and all but 10 were in support of TRALA's petition. TRALA feels confident that with a narrower time frame and a specific push by its membership to be in compliance, that this petition stands a good chance of being granted. Like last year, TRALA has drafted a form letter which TRALA members and their customers can use as a template for their own letter to be submitted to the FMCSA in support of TRALA's petition. You may download a copy of TRALA's form letter by clicking here.
 
TRALA submitted its petition to the FMCSA on January 19, 2018, however the FMCSA took nearly two months to formally post the petition in the Federal Register which begins the public comment period. The comment period is set to expire on April 12, 2018 and TRALA's 90-day waiver expires on April 19, 2018 which all but guarantees that there will be a gap in time where rental trucks - even if TRALA's exemption is granted - would be required to utilize an ELD if the rented truck is out for more than 8 days. TRALA members will still be able to operate under the 8-day exemption for rental trucks which was granted by the FMCSA last year and runs until December, 2022.
 
With Ray Martinez confirmed and established as the Administrator of the FMCSA and many of the Trump Administration appointees in place, TRALA is hopeful that the FMCSA will be able to make a favorable decision on TRALA's petition in a short amount of time. Since its initial decision on TRALA's exemption petition last year, TRALA has remained in contact with the FMCSA about its concerns with how the ELD rule works in the rental space. Additionally, we have discussed in some detail the lengths to which TRALA members are working to get into compliance with the rule, but that additional time is needed for members to equip their entire fleet and deal with the myriad of issues their customers must deal with regarding rental trucks. TRALA believes that by working collaboratively with the FMCSA, it will increase its chances of having its new petition approved by the agency. Administrator Martinez personally called TRALA earlier this week and said he wanted to meet in the next few weeks to discuss this petition as well as other issues impacting the truck renting and leasing industry, which is a positive first step.
 
You may view TRALA's petition in the Federal Register by clicking here.  
 
You may submit a comment to the FMCSA by clicking here.
 
If you have any questions or concerns about the ELD rule please contact Jake Jacoby at jjacoby@trala.org or Andrew Stasiowski at astasiowski@trala.org, or by calling (703) 299-9120.
 
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