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December 12, 2017 5:15 PM, EST
FMCSA Grants Rental Group TRALA 90-Day ELD Waiver
Ryder truck with 53-foot trailer A Ryder truck with 53-foot trailer on the road. Truck Renting and Leasing Association members will have until March 18 to comply with FMCSA's electronic logging mandate. (Ryder System Inc.)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to grant the Truck Renting and Leasing Association a 90-day waiver from the upcoming electronic logging device mandate.

According to the association’s Dec. 12 press release, all TRALA members will have until March 18 to comply with the mandate, which requires motor carriers who currently are required to maintain paper records of duty status to start using the devices for hours-of-service compliance. FMCSA’s extension pertains to short-term rental trucks.

YOUR GUIDE TO THE MANDATE: Downloadable PDF. 

In October, the agency granted rentals of eight days or less relief from the rule, rather than the 30 days TRALA had initially sought.

 

I know our members appreciate the agency’s understanding of the unique challenges this rule presents to rental trucks.

Jake Jacoby, TRALA President

“This decision is welcome news to truck rental companies that have been spending the past few months trying to put together strategies and plans to address the fact that FMCSA only granted part of TRALA’s original request for a five-year exemption for short-term rental trucks,” the press release says. “Because TRALA felt that FMCSA had not left its members enough time to properly equip their fleet, TRALA continued to discuss further options with FMCSA to help ease the burden on the rental industry as TRALA members worked toward becoming fully compliant with the mandate.”

According to the release, one of the issues TRALA grapples with is that ELD platforms are not interoperable with one another. For example, if a fleet has one ELD system but the rental company has another, it is impossible to combine them without building new systems, a process which is costly and time-consuming. These interoperability issues could pose a financial hardship for fleets, the press release states.

“I want to thank FMCSA for granting a waiver for short-term rental trucks,” TRALA President Jake Jacoby said. “Having an open, honest and productive dialogue the past few months has really helped our membership, and I know our members appreciate the agency’s understanding of the unique challenges this rule presents to rental trucks.”

This waiver is not the first one FMCSA has issued preceding the ELD mandate. In October, FMCSA granted UPS Inc. several five-year exemptions in four chief areas, namely the use of automatic onboard recording devices during the “phase-in” process as well as data collection methods for drivers who log out of an ELD while outside a vehicle, drivers who make yard moves and nondriver employees who operate vehicles.

The ELD mandate ranked No. 2 on the American Transportation Research Institute’s list of most critical issues for the trucking industry, which was released Oct. 23.