Fireworks haulers request exemption to ELD mandate

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line Digital Content Editor | 11/28/2017

The trade group representing the U.S. fireworks industry is the latest in an ever-growing list to ask for an exemption to next month’s mandate of electronic logs.

In a letter sent to the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration on Nov. 27, the American Pyrotechnics Association requested a limited exemption allowing its members, who are currently exempted from hours-of-service requirements, to continue using paper logs to record duty status. The association cites the inability of ELDs to accurately account for drivers exempt from hours of service requirements.

“There is no basis to believe that continuing to allow paper record keeping for this limited subset of the regulated community, and for a limited period of time, would impact operational safety in any regard, particularly given FMCSA’s previous decision regarding the HOS exemption,” APA executive director Julie Heckman wrote in the letter. “Indeed, permitting the keeping of such paper records may be more likely to increase safety because it would allow operators subject to the HOS exemption to more accurately reflect driving times than would be possible through the use of ELD systems, which are not designed to keep such records.”

Fireworks haulers are joining a growing chorus of industry voices requesting exemptions from the ELD mandate, which is set to take effect on Dec. 18. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also filed an exemption request last week for small carriers and owner-operators with a proven safety history and no attributable at-fault crashes.

The APA exemption request states that complying with the mandate would “impose substantial economic hardship” on its members. FMCSA used the economic hardship rationale in granting its 2015 hours-of-service exemption to the group, noting that fireworks haulers operate on a seasonal basis rather than maintaining full-time, year-round fleets.



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