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OOIDA-formed coalition backs two-year delay for ELD mandate

In a late-game effort to postpone the date by which truck drivers must begin using electronic logging devices to track hours of service compliance, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association on Wednesday announced the formation of a coalition to back a two-year delay of the Dec. 18, 2017, ELD mandate compliance deadline. The coalition, which includes 31 organizations, supports a bill introduced in the U.S. House earlier this year by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) that would bump the ELD mandate’s adoption deadline to December 2019.

The move is the latest attempt by OOIDA to have the mandate stalled or struck down outright. So far, those attempts have been unsuccessful, and the mandate’s looming compliance date remains in effect.

Despite drawing dozens of co-sponsors, Babin’s bill has seen no movement in the House, and no such bill has been introduced in the Senate. Moreover, another attempt by Babin to attach an amendment to delay the mandate at least through Sept. 30, 2018, failed in a vote on the House floor, potentially signaling the House’s reluctance to proceed with such legislation.

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OOIDA filed a lawsuit challenging the mandate in 2016, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 31, 2016, to uphold the mandate. OOIDA later appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, who denied OOIDA’s petition for the nation’s high court to hear the case.

The group also filed a petition with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration claiming that nearly 30 states had not specifically adopted the mandate as their own and thus state enforcement personnel tasked with enforcing the federal mandate couldn’t do so.

OOIDA’s new coalition includes industry trade groups representing agriculture, pyrotechnics, utility contractors, livestock and others — groups OOIDA say would “be negatively impacted by the mandate.” The coalition includes just one other trucking-focused group, the National Association of Small Trucking Companies.

“The electronic logging device mandate is written so broadly that it has far reaching implications well beyond the traditional trucking industry,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA. See the full list of coalition members below.

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The coalition’s formation comes just a week ahead of a separate anti-ELD initiative taking place in Washington, D.C. A group of truckers, spearheaded in part by company driver and singer-songwriter Tony Justice, plan to rally at the U.S. Capitol next week to protest the mandate and attempt to catch legislators’ attention regarding the ELD delay efforts.

Absent from OOIDA’s coalition are the American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Trucking Alliance, all three of which support the ELD mandate and its Dec. 18 compliance deadline.

In response to the formation of OOIDA’s coalition, the Trucking Alliance in a statement said OOIDA’s push “[takes] its members perilously close to having their trucks taken out of service” for lack of ELD compliance by “suggesting the rule may not happen.”

Here’s a list of the coalition’s members — few of which are related to trucking:

Agricultural Retailers Association
American Pipeline Contractors Association
American Pyrotechnics Association
Associated Equipment Distributors
Distribution Contractors Association
Livestock Exporters Association of the USA
Lucas Oil Products
Mid-West Truckers Association
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association of Small Trucking Companies
National Aquaculture Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Electrical Contractors Association
National Federation of Independent Business
National Grain and Feed Association
National Ground Water Association
National Hay Association
National Motorists Association
National Precast Concrete Association
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
New England Fuel Institute
North American Wood Pole Council
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
Power & Communication Contractors Association
Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
SikhsPAC
Southern Pressure Treaters’ Association
United States Cattlemen’s Association

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James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at jjaillet@randallreilly.com.