WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced three ways it is helping carriers ease into the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate set for Dec. 18.
Even though carriers have had plenty of time to become familiar with the ELD mandate, Joe DeLorenzo, the head of the office of enforcement and compliance at FMCSA, said the administration is doing this to ensure “the smoothest and least intrusive way to implement this rule.”
DeLorezo said that in order to help carriers, there will be an “ease of transition” period from Dec.18-April 1, where drivers who are caught without an ELD, but can show they are compliant with the current hours-of-service rules will not be placed out of service and violations will not count against carriers and their safety record. However, after April 1, DeLorenzo said drivers caught without an ELD “will be treated as not having a record of duty status and will be placed out of service.”
DeLorenzo said the second thing the FMCSA will be doing in the next month is publishing a guidance regarding the questions and concerns regarding personal conveyance and ELDs.
“We are going to publish some sort of contents on personal conveyance to explain to the industry our interpretation of when a movement by drivers is not subject to the hours of service regulation,” he said. “What this guidance will do is provide clarity and consistency across the industry.”
Finally, DeLorenzo said the FMCSA is issuing at 90-day waiver to the agricultural industry, and specifically those carriers that haul livestock. DeLorenzo said that this waiver has more to do with hours-of-service than with ELDs specifically. As per the waiver, those agricultural carriers will be allowed to use a paper record of duty status for 90 days after the Dec. 18 deadline.
“What (the waiver) will allow us to do is consider their situation in terms of hours-of-service,” he said of the agricultural industry. “First it’ll allow us to the time to consider the exemption request that has been filed on behalf of this industry… and the second thing the waiver will allow us to do is publish another guidance document that will be published for comment so we can hear from that industry.”