A recent DOT bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee steered clear from any major changes to the FMCSA trucking policies and the upcoming ELD mandate.
Last July 27, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee released an appropriations bill for USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) and other related departments for the 2018 fiscal year.
This bill, however, was different from the bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee.
The House bill offered another year to livestock haulers to adopt the ELD mandate, included the Denham Amendment provision, and prevented the FMCSA from pursuing an SFD rule (Safety Fitness Determination rule) until CSA reforms are implemented.
On the other hand, the bill passed by the Senate does not include any of these provisions. The Senate did add two amendments regarding truck size and weight limit in North Dakota and New Hampshire. Contrary to the current national limit for gross vehicle truck weight (which is 80,000 pounds), they would allow trucks weight up to 129,000 pounds to operate in North Dakota and up to 99,000 pounds in New Hampshire.
The Senate DOT bill has to be sent to the full Senate where new amendments could be added. Also, if the two chambers pass bills that are not identical, legislators will have to produce a unified bill.
As expected, the ELD mandate seems unlikely to be changed or postponed. It is in the best interest of carriers to start the ELD implementation process. Delaying it any further will cause problems, such as a shortage of ELD supply.