The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published in the Federal Register the waiver the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) had requested for short-term rental trucks. This 90-day waiver from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate runs until April 19, 2018.
While TRALA was told by the agency that this waiver was coming since December 12, 2017, TRALA had been waiting for the FMCSA to formally post it in the Federal Register so that any driver of a short-term rental truck can simply print out a copy of the notice and carry it in their cab during this time frame.
With the ELD Mandate taking effect on December 18, 2017 many safety officers have been unaware of the waiver being granted for rental trucks, which had created confusion for several TRALA members. By posting the waiver in the Federal Register, TRALA expects the inspection process to be much simpler for rental trucks.
The 90-day waiver will allow trucks rented for 30 days or less to use paper logs to record their Hours-of-Service and allow TRALA members more time to equip trucks with ELDs. This 90-day waiver can only be issued once but following its conclusion, rental customers will still be able to rely on the eight-day exemption from the ELD mandate for rental trucks that TRALA received late last year and which runs for five years.
There are several requirements within the 90-day waiver that must be followed in order to benefit from this exemption. They include:
1) The waiver will expire on April 19, 2018.
2) The exemption covers rental of any property-carrying vehicle for a period of 30 days or less and evidence that a carrier has simply replaced one rental with another 30 days will be considered a violation.
3) Drivers operating under this waiver must still comply with all other regulations such as paper logs while operating a short-term rental truck.
4) Motor carriers must have a "satisfactory" rating in order to utilize this waiver.
5) Drivers must carry a copy of the Federal Register notice in the vehicle and present it to a law enforcement officer upon request.
6) Carriers operating under this waiver must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident involving any vehicle that was using this waiver at the time of the accident.
7) FMCSA expects that drivers and their employing motor carrier operating under the terms of this waiver will maintain their safety record and if they do not, FMCSA will revoke the waiver from that particular motor carrier.
Leasing companies and their customers can view and print out the official 90-day waiver published in the Federal Register by clicking on the link: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-01-19/pdf/2018-00843.pdf
All TRALA members, their customers, and drivers are encouraged to print out the notice to ensure there is a copy in every rental vehicle that intends to take advantage of this waiver.
Because this waiver can only be granted once, TRALA began work on another exemption petition following a call with its Government Relations Committee on January 11. This petition request will ask the FMCSA for an additional nine months before forcing rental trucks to adhere to the ELD mandate. This extra time would allow TRALA members to work with customers to further address the issues revolving around a lack of interoperability between ELD platforms.
While progress is being made in purchasing devices and building out systems so that different customers can use the technology of their choice, many issues remain and having additional time to create a more seamless transition for rental trucks would greatly help the vast majority of TRALA members.