The carrier is asking FMCSA to allow it to (1) use an alternative phase-in method for automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) (2) for an exemption from the requirement that an ELD automatically records certain data elements upon a duty status change when a driver is not in the truck (3) to allow ELDs to be configured to a special driving mode for yard moves and (4) to allow vehicle movements of less than a mile on UPS property by non-driver UPS employees to be annotated in the ELD as “on property – other.”
In the mandate, FMCSA allows carriers that have compliant AOBRDs installed before the Dec. 18, 2017, ELD compliance date to continue their use until as late as Dec. 16, 2019, before having to switch to ELDs. UPS says this grandfather clause applying to vehicles, rather than entire fleets, makes it difficult for large carriers to comply. The fleet says it plans to purchase more than 1,500 new tractors in 2018, after the grandfathering deadline, which would require all of those trucks to be equipped with ELDs.
UPS says its drivers use multiple trucks each week and would inevitably end up driving trucks with ELDs and AOBRDs during the same week, creating “complex and difficult situations to manage.” UPS is asking FMCSA to allow it to install AOBRDs on new tractors that are delivered to facilities where AOBRDs are already in use to avoid drivers having to use both ELDs and AOBRDs. UPS says all of its vehicles would still be fully ELD-compliant by the Dec. 16, 2019, deadline.
The second provision of the rule UPS is seeking an exemption from deals with ELDs recording data when a driver changes his or her duty status and when a driver logs in to or out of an ELD.
Under the terms of a bargaining agreement for its drivers between UPS and the Teamsters Union, the fleet says it cannot comply with both the requirement that an ELD record tractor data when a driver logs in and out – or changes his or her duty status while outside the truck – as well as the bargaining agreement contract and pay guidelines for drivers. The fleet is asking FMCSA to allow it to “systematically annotate that the driver was performing other work” to assure accurate recording of on-duty, non-driving time.
To save time for its drivers, UPS is also seeking an exemption to allow the drivers moving trailers around yards to be able to select the “yard move” special driving status and remain in that status, even if the truck is turned off and back on. The company says most of its drivers are required to complete yard moves as part of their regular work day, and UPS requires them to take the keys out of the ignition each time they exit the truck as a safety precaution.
UPS says that under the exemption, if granted, the ELD would switch to a “driving” duty status if the truck exceeds 20 miles per hour or if it exits the geo-fenced yard. The fleet says requiring drivers to select “yard move” status each time they turn the truck off and back on would cost it approximately $460,000 a year in lost time.
Finally, UPS asks that FMCSA make an exemption for its fuel and wash employees that are not technically drivers. The company says it has 1,434 employees to wash and fuel vehicles that only drive the trucks on UPS property and are not required to comply with hours-of-service regulations. Because the ELD rule requires the device to automatically record data when a truck is turned on and off – and UPS will be using portable, driver-based ELDs and not permanent ELDs in the trucks – providing the non-driver employees with ELDs would be costly. As an alternative, UPS proposes that truck usage of less than one mile by these employees driven completely on UPS property be annotated on an ELD as “on property – other.”
FMCSA is seeking public comment on UPS’ exemption request, which can be made at www.regulations.gov by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0054 once the document is published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 9.