The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. and the Motion Picture Association of America exemptions from hours-of-service regulations pertaining to the electronic logging device mandate.
According to an announcement scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on Jan. 19, Old Dominion — as well as other motor carriers having issues adopting PeopleNet’s ELD software — has been granted a 90-day waiver from HOS laws applicable to the mandate. PeopleNet is a software company that designs time tracking and management systems.
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The waiver stems from Old Dominion’s prior request for relief as the company installs ELDs that are running PeopleNet’s automatic on-board recording device software, which meets the Code of Federal Regulations requirements. This waiver was meant to act as a grace period until the company can completely adopt PeopleNet’s ELD software. According to Bryan Coyne, senior vice president of PeopleNet, fleets need some time to make sure the software cooperates with their own “back office” management systems.
Coyne described PeopleNet as a supporter of the ELD mandate, and said he has worked with FMCSA officials to make sure fleets were operating safely as the law takes hold.
“FMCSA has determined that granting this waiver to Old Dominion, as well as other similarly situated carriers, is in the public interest and will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to the level that would be achieved absent the waiver,” the Federal Register document states.
Old Dominion finished equipping its fleet with PeopleNet AOBRDs in 2011. According to the document, Old Dominion has PeopleNet’s AOBRD and ELD hardware installed in its vehicles, and the company is transitioning to PeopleNet’s latest software, which was released in December.
In a statement issued Jan. 18, PeopleNet applauded FMCSA’s decision to grant the waiver and pledged to work with fleets as they integrate new systems.
“We stand behind our customers and in this case agreed that the grandfather clause was not flexible enough to cover the operational complexities of the fleets we serve,” Coyne said. “PeopleNet is committed to facilitating a transition that’s as least disruptive as possible and supports giving fleets, especially those with business-critical back office integrations, more flexibility in the transition.”
However, the document states the new PeopleNet software does not include the necessary means to integrate into Old Dominion’s management and safety software. Certain software changes, such as eliminating the “skip” feature, limiting the auto-duty driving status change threshold to five miles and limiting geofencing of yards to a half-mile radius, must be made.
“When these changes are fully implemented, and the operational controls are in place, the PeopleNet system used by Old Dominion will provide an equivalent level of safety while the integration of the ELD software is completed,” the document states.