On Wednesday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will officially grant the first exemption to the upcoming electronic logging mandate to the Truck Rental and Leasing Association.
In March, the Truck and Rental and Leasing Association petitioned FMCSA seeking an exemption from the mandate. Specifically, the association wanted to be exempted from the requirements for equipment that is rented or leased for 30 days or fewer.
The agency will officially grant a limited exemption to the group. However, the exemption is only good for rentals that are eight days or fewer. Anyone operating a rented truck under the exemption will be required to carry the rental agreement and a paper log for the current 24-hour period, plus logs for the seven previous days.
In denying the 30-day exemption request, the agency noted in the announcement set to post Wednesday in the Federal Register that the 30-day timeframe of the request was unnecessarily long.
“The agency believes than an exemption period of up to eight days for drivers of rental (commercial motor vehicles) would give most carriers sufficient time to repair or replace their usual vehicles while minimizing any temptation to extend non-ELD operations,” according to the notice. “The use of paper records of duty status will not create an undue risk of noncompliance when limited to this short period of time.”
The limitation of the exemption to an eight-day time period tracks with other requirements in the electronic logging mandate. In the event of a device malfunction or the discovery of a noncompliant device, drivers must recreate logs for the current 24-hour period and the previous seven days. In that time the devices are to be repaired or replaced.
The agency has a number of additional requests for exemptions from the ELD mandate pending, including from livestock hauler and concrete operations. The mandate is set to go into effect on Dec. 18.
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