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January 22, 2018 1:00 PM, EST
FMCSA Grants Truck Leasing Group 90-Day ELD Exemption
Ruling Applies to Rentals That Don't Exceed 30 Days
Ryder tractor-trailer Ryder System

Federal regulators have granted the Truck Renting and Leasing Association a 90-day electronic logging device exemption for rentals not exceeding 30 days.

ROLLOUT CREATES CHALLENGES: But compliance rising

YOUR GUIDE TO THE MANDATE: Downloadable PDF. 

The exemption took effect Jan. 19 and will last until April 19, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said in a Jan. 19 Federal Register announcement.

“This waiver will avoid business disruptions for carriers required to employ short-term rentals, regardless of the reason, and allow businesses renting commercial motor vehicles to continue their work to reconcile the ELD requirement with the needs of their individual customers,” FMCSA said.

The agency said it has determined that granting this waiver is in the public interest and likely will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to the level that would be achieved absent the waiver.

In a statement, Trala said it was told by the agency that the waiver was coming since Dec. 12.

“However, 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 timeframe,” the trade organization said.

The waiver will allow drivers of trucks rented for 30 days or less to use paper logs to record hours of service and allow Trala members more time to equip trucks with ELDs.

Motor carriers must have a “satisfactory” rating in order to utilize the ELD waiver, and drivers must carry a copy of the Federal Register notice in the vehicle and present it to a law enforcement officer upon request.

Trala is a national trade association representing companies that engage in commercial truck renting and leasing as well as consumer truck rentals.

Its membership encompasses major independent firms such as Ryder System, Penske Truck Leasing, U-Haul, Budget and Enterprise Truck Rental, as well as small and medium-size businesses that generally participate as members of four leasing group systems: Idealease, NationaLease, Paccar Leasing Co. and Mack Leasing System-Volvo Truck Leasing.

Also on Jan. 19, TRALA filed a new exemption petition with FMCSA requesting an exemption through the end of the year for rental trucks from the ELD mandate to give additional time for its members to become fully compliant. In its petition, TRALA is requesting that trucks rented for 30 days or less be exempt from the mandate and allowed to use paper logs until Dec. 31, 2018.

TRALA said it decided to file the petition early after learning that the high ranking official in the FMCSA that had served as the point person for this issue and who supported TRALA's waiver request has been let go by the agency, “which simply adds to the complexity of traversing such a government bureaucracy as is the FMCSA.”

“Despite this change, TRALA maintains strong relationships with several key decision-makers within the FMCSA, including the deputy director of the agency, Cathy Gautreaux, who is a longtime friend of TRALA's, as well as FMCSA's Director of Government Affairs, Wiley Deck,” TRALA said in a statement.