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Propane fleet, tow truck drivers seek ELD exemptions

Crockett's Interstate Towing, tow truck

The Towing and Recovery Association of America requested an exemption from the ELD mandate on behalf of tow truck operators.

A group representing tow truck drivers and a seasonal propane-hauling fleet are latest in a growing group of trucking companies and associations to file for exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device mandate.

The Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA) requested a five-year exemption from the mandate for all tow truck drivers while they’re providing towing, recovery and roadside repair services.

TRAA represents more than 35,000 towing companies across all 50 states. The group says in its exemption request that most tow truck operators work within the short-haul exemption from hours-of-service compliance, but occasionally have to keep logs more than eight days in a 30-day period for either their driving radius or hours worked.

The group says tow truck drivers often switch between interstate and intrastate regulations multiple times per day, and also switch between commercial and non-commercial vehicles throughout their shifts. Because these drivers would only need to keep logs for a small part of their daily operations, using ELDs would create “an undue burden,” TRAA says. Without an exemption from the ELD mandate, TRAA adds “towers’ responsiveness to their customers and the motoring public would be severely reduced, and costs for towing services would increase commeasurably [sic].”

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Comments will be accepted until Feb. 9, and can be made here.

STC Inc., a 75-truck fleet based in Paducah, Ky., also requested an exemption from the mandate due to the mandate’s costs, it says. STC says it transports propane fuel and anhydrous ammonia and operates seasonally, depending on the weather.

The fleet says recent warm winters have dinged its revenue, and that it can’t afford to comply with the ELD mandate.

Additionally, STC says installing ELDs in its trucks would be difficult because the company doesn’t operate year-round and its operations are weather-dependent. If granted the exemption, STC states its drivers will continue to use paper logs.

Comments can be made here by Feb. 9.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.