The ELD mandate holds the fifth position in the 2013 ATRI Top industry Issues (TII) which is the highest rank of any issue related to onboard truck technology in the nine-year history of the survey. In 2011, FMCSA was forced to vacate a proposed ELD rule due to a court decision regarding concerns over driver harassment.
FMCSA is expected to release a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) in the next several months that will address ELD performance standards, requirements for the use of ELDs, requirements related to HOS supporting documents, and assurances that ELD mandates will not result in driver harassment. Slightly less than a quarter of respondents (23%) rank this issue first, second, or third. Depending on the nature of the proposed rule, this issue may see a higher level of concern in the future.
a) Advocate for FMCSA to include provisions that retain existing Hours-of-Service (HOS) exemptions and provide supporting document relief in an ELD mandate. Once the SNPRM is released, many in the industry will examine the rule to ensure that existing HOS exemptions, such as those for agricultural haulers during peak season, as well as a provision for supporting document relief, are included in the new rules. This was the preferred strategy of one-third of respondents (33.3%).
b) Ensure that the ELD mandate does not require storage or transfer of data unrelated to HOS record of duty status. As data storage and data exchange capabilities continue to grow, many in the industry are concerned that FMCSA may implement an ELD rule that includes recordkeeping for data beyond what is needed to monitor HOS compliance. This strategy speaks to that concern and is the top choice of 36.4% of respondents.
c) Encourage FMCSA to issue the congressionally-mandated ELD rule in a timely fashion. Part of the reason this issue continues to experience an increase in concern is due to uncertainty as to when the rule will be released and when it will go into effect. A significant portion of industry stakeholders, including the 30.2% of respondents who rank this as their priority strategy, wishes to see an ELD rule as soon as possible.