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OOIDA files for ELD exemption for crash-free small fleets

Less than a month prior to the electronic logging device mandate’s initial enforcement deadline of December 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 comes one day after the FMCSA announced it would soon publish details of a 90-day extension of the enforcement date specifically for agriculatural haulers, including but not limited to those hauling livestock.

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 situated carriers who “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 a myriad of 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 broadly.

It’s unclear when FMCSA will address OOIDA’s request.

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Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at OverdriveOnline.com. His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to tdills@randallreilly.com or via phone at 205-907-2481.