DOT Rejects ELD Exemption for Small Businesses

Daren Hansen

A request for small businesses to be exempt from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate has been denied, according to Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

OOIDA asked for a five-year ELD exemption for motor carriers with a proven safety record that are classified as small businesses, those with average annual receipts of up to $27.5 million.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been pondering the request for eight months.

“We are puzzled and disappointed at the response from the agency,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s president.

Spencer said OOIDA is now banking on Congress to take action.

“There are numerous legislative proposals that would provide relief from the mandate and we’re hoping Congress moves forward with them,” he said.

Key among them is the “Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018,” which would exempt carriers that own or operate 10 or fewer commercial vehicles. The bipartisan bill has 29 cosponsors and is awaiting action in a House subcommittee.

Another pending request

Meanwhile, the FMCSA is giving some additional time to another association seeking an ELD exemption for small carriers.

The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) is seeking an ELD exemption for motor carriers with fewer than 50 employees.

On June 5th, the FMCSA began accepting public comments on the SBTC request but “technical difficulties” prevented some comments from going through.

As a result, on July 9th the FMCSA announced that the comment period would remain open for an extra 10 days, until July 16th.

Comments may be viewed on submitted online at www.regulations.gov under docket number FMCSA-2018-0180.

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