September 13, 2017 12:00 PM, EDT

Contractor Association Requests Exemption From ELD Rule

EROAD announced at the 2017 TMC Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition the commercial availability of its Electronic Logging Device (ELD)ERoad

The Power and Communication Contractors Association has requested an exemption from the impending electronic logging device mandate, according to an announcement from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The ELD mandate, which requires drivers to install devices that track hours of service, takes effect Dec. 18. PCCA has requested exemption for all operators of a commercial motor vehicle in the power and communications industry.

“Construction contractors spend considerable time working off-road on varying job sites, and a single CMV may have several different drivers over the course of a day, moving the vehicle short distances around the job site,” states FMCSA’s announcement, which is scheduled to be released Sept. 14 in the Federal Register. “Because of the limited time within a workday that their drivers spend driving on public roads, PCCA states that ELD and record of duty status requirements for drivers in their industries do not result in a significant safety benefit.”

Even if granted the exemption, PCCA’s drivers would remain subject to standard HOS limits and maintain paper RODS. PCCA represents contractors who work on electrical, sewage and communication infrastructure projects.

According to FMCSA, the association said there are tens of thousands of these workers across the country. The announcement says that these workers drive multiple vehicles for short distances during the day.

“PCCA contractors maintain a wide range of different vehicles, including dump trucks, water-related vehicles, skid trucks and flatbeds used to carry heavy excavation equipment,” FMCSA’s announcement said. “These are construction workers – driving is incidental to their core job function.”

The notice also says that PCCA believes that the exemption will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be reached if drivers adhered to the ELD rule.

FMCSA is hosting a period of public comment that will extend for 30 days after the announcement is released.