The FMCSA exempts short-term rental trucks until April 19, 2018
The FMCSA exempts short-term rental trucks until April 19, 2018

On January 19, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published in the Federal Register a three-month ELD mandate waiver for short-term rental trucks.

The exemption was sought by the Truck Rental and Leasing Association (TRALA) late last year and took effect on January 19. It would run until April 19, 2018.

The 90-day waiver — which is a one-time exemption — allows short-term rental trucks to use paper logs to record their hours of service (HOS) and grants rental companies more time to install an electronic logging device (ELD).

TRALA is a group of nearly 500 member companies that operate in more than 5,000 commercial leasing and rental locations, as well as more than 20,000 consumer rental locations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

The FMCSA informed TRALA on December 12 last year that the waiver was coming.

TRALA said that as soon as the waiver was posted, a short-term rental truck driver could print a copy and carry it in their vehicle during the exemption period, which they would then present to safety enforcement personnel upon request.

To view and print out the waiver, click here.

Concerns

In their petition, TRALA was concerned “about the unintended technical and operational consequences that will unfairly and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles.”

The association also expressed worry over the “lack of interoperability between the motor carrier’s ELD technology and the rental company’s telematics platform, potentially precluding data transfer between the two systems,” as well as “data liability, particularly if the rental companies needed to bear the burden of safeguarding data on behalf of the motor carrier.”

While granting TRALA’s 90-day ELD waiver, the FMCSA said: “The Agency has determined that granting this waiver 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, based on the terms and conditions imposed.”

After the ELD mandate took effect on December 18, TRALA said that many safety enforcement officers were unaware of the waiver, resulting in confusion among several of the association’s members.

With the waiver already published, TRALA expects the inspection process to become “much simpler.”

Waiver Terms and Conditions

The waiver notice published in the Federal Register enumerated the following terms and conditions.

  1.   The exemption will run from January 19, 2018, through April 19, 2018.
  2.   The exemption covers rental of any property-carrying CMV for 30 days or less, regardless of the reason. Any evidence that a carrier has replaced one rental CMV with another on 30-day cycles or attempted to renew a rental agreement for the same CMV for a period beyond 30 days would be considered a violation of the waiver.
  3.   Carriers and drivers operating under the 90-day waiver must comply with all other applicable FMCSA requirements, including the preparation of paper RODS, including the record retention requirements associated with those RODS and supporting documents.
  4.   Carriers operating under this waiver are required to have a ‘‘satisfactory’’ safety rating from the FMCSA or be unrated, while carriers with ‘‘conditional’’ or ‘‘unsatisfactory’’ safety ratings cannot use the 90-day waiver.
  5.   Carriers covered by the waiver must ensure that their driver carries a copy of the Federal Register notice in the vehicle and present it to motor carrier safety enforcement officials upon request.
  6.   Carriers must notify the FMCSA within five business days of an accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, involving any of their drivers operating under the terms of the waiver. The notification must include information such as the identity of the waiver: ‘‘TRALA;’’ date of the accident; city or town, and state where the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene; driver’s name and license number; co-driver’s name and license number (if applicable); vehicle number and state license number; among other details. Accident notifications must be emailed to MCPSD@dot.gov.
  7.   Drivers and their carriers operating under the terms and conditions of the waiver will maintain their safety record. Should any safety problems be uncovered, the FMCSA will take steps to protect the public interest.
  8.   Use of the waiver is voluntary, and the FMCSA would rescind the waiver for any interstate driver or motor carrier for failure to comply with the terms and conditions.

What’s Next?

TRALA has been given a 90-day exemption from the ELD mandate for short-term rental trucks. The association justified the request by citing “unintended technical and operational consequences that will unfairly and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles.

After April 19, 2018, short-term rental trucks would be required to comply with the ELD mandate. In the meanwhile, non-exempt truckers are already required to comply with the FMCSA’s final ELD rule.

For carriers who have not yet transitioned to ELDs, we highly recommend that they check our ELD price comparison tool and ELD features comparison tool so they can find an affordable and feature-rich ELD solution for their trucking business.

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