OOIDA seeks ELD exemption for some trucking businesses

Less than a month before the electronic logging device mandate’s initial enforcement deadline of Dec. 18, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a request with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for an at least five-year small business exemption from the mandate’s requirements.

The request came earlier this week and just a day after the FMCSA announced it would soon publish details of a 90-day extension of the enforcement date specifically for agricultural haulers.

If granted, OOIDA’s request would go well beyond that extension and exempt from the mandate motor carriers who fit the Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business in truck transportation, an entity with $27.5 million or less in gross annual receipts. It would include only such carriers which “do not have a Carrier Safety Rating of ‘Unsatisfactory,’ and can document a proven history of safety performance with no attributable at-fault crashes,’” the association’s exemption request states. “The exemption would not have any adverse impacts on operational safety, as motor carriers and drivers would remain subject to the [hours] regulations.”

OOIDA cites numerous concerns in justifying its request, from a lack of comprehensive government or independent third-party vetting of many of the nearly 200 self-certified ELDs currently on FMCSA’s registry to continued concerns about cybersecurity.

OOIDA is one member of a diverse coalition of industry groups that has spoken out against the mandate. It also supports a bill proposed by U.S. Representative Brian Babin (R-Texas) that would delay the ELD mandate for two years. Babin’s bill, H.R. 3282,  the ELD Extension Act of 2017, would extend the current implementation date from December 2017 to December 2019. Babin has in recent weeks also requested a delay via executive order of the Trump administration to buy more time for H.R. 3282’s passage.