FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION DENIES TRALA'S FINAL ELD PETITION
On September 1, 2018 the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) received a letter from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) informing TRALA that it would not grant TRALA's petition for an exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate through the end of 2018 for short-term rental trucks.
On September 1, 2018 the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) received a letter from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) informing TRALA that it would not grant TRALA's petition for an exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate through the end of 2018 for short-term rental trucks. On January 19, 2018 TRALA – after discussions with its Government Relations Committee and the FMCSA – submitted a new petition requesting a short-term exemption from the ELD Mandate for rentals of 30-days or less until December 31, 2018. At the time, TRALA had been granted a 90-day enforcement waiver from the FMCSA for short-term rental trucks, which was set to expire on April 19, 2018.
Despite being submitted in January, the FMCSA did not publish TRALA's petition into the Federal Register until March 13, 2018. This began the 30 day public comment period, which needed to be completed before the FMCSA could rule on TRALA's petition. TRALA was confident that there would be a gap between the expiration of TRALA's enforcement waiver and any decision the FMCSA would make on TRALA's final petition, but the agency confirmed that rentals that began by April 19 that were 30 days or less would be able to continue using paper logs. The FMCSA in its discussions with TRALA had expressed a willingness to act quickly on TRALA's final petition, acknowledging that they had moved slowly on TRALA's original petition, which complicated the ability of rental fleets to be in full compliance with the ELD Mandate. TRALA's original petition was partially granted by FMCSA when it allowed rental trucks of 8 days or less to be exempt from the ELD Mandate for five years.
In its final petition, TRALA argued that the truck rental industry faces unique challenges, which has slowed full compliance with the ELD Mandate. Many TRALA members had requested additional time to equip trucks with ELDs and to work with their customers to fully comply with the new rule. TRALA felt that a short-term extension lasting only through the rest of 2018 would give its members enough time to equip its fleet and educate their customers on the ELD Mandate.
Despite multiple conversations between TRALA and the FMCSA regarding the need for a decision on this petition, the FMCSA took nearly four and a half months to eventually decline TRALAs short-term exemption request. TRALA is disappointed that the FMCSA did not grant this short-term exemption request, as the goal of the request was to ease the burden on the rental industry created by the ELD Mandate, but given how long the agency waited to make a final decision no matter what they had decided in September was unlikely to have a major impact on rental companies. Because TRALA was able to achieve the 8-day exemption for five years as well as get a reprieve from the original ELD Mandate until April, most TRALA members have indicated they are operating within the parameters of the new rule at this time, having worked through the myriad of issues with their customers. In addition to the 8-day exemption for rental trucks, there are also two other major exemptions – the 100-mile and 150-mile exemptions – that also can aid motor carriers in their ability to use paper logs instead of an ELD.
You may view a copy of the letter from FMCSA announcing their decision to deny TRALA's final petition by clicking here.
If you have any questions on the ELD Mandate or the latest decision by FMCSA, please contact Jake Jacoby at firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrew Stasiowski at email@example.com or call (703)299-9120.