FMCSA Seeks Comments on ARA ELD Exemption Request

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration formally published the Agricultural Retailers Association's Electronic Logging Device petition / exemption request in the Federal Register in late December.

ARA's petition, submitted in October, seeks an exemption for agricultural retailers and distributors from the ELD mandate. The public comment period will be open until January 29.

ARA's ELD exemption request letter included the following arguments:

  • ELD requirement imposes undue economic cost with minimal to no safety benefits
  • FMCSA ELD self-certification process is flawed
  • Concerns with poor internet and cellular connectivity in rural areas
  • Concerns with cyber-security of ELD devices and systems and do not provide proper safeguards
  • Agricultural retailers and distributors would continue to operate at a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved if FMCSA grants ARA's requested ELD exemption

Many agricultural retailers and distributors that operate year-round under the Hour of Service agricultural exemption, and within 150 air mile radius of their facility, are exempt from the ELD mandate. However, many states do not designate year-round "planting and harvesting" periods, so agricultural retailers in those states would still be required to invest heavily in ELD systems that may only be necessary a few months out of the year.

ARA believes FMCSA should exempt agricultural retailers and distributors transporting farm supplies to their customers. The livestock and farm community are currently operating under a 90-day waiver from the ELD mandate, which expires on March 18, 2018, with the hope of being granted an exemption from these new requirements.

ARA encourages all ARA members to submit comments to FMCSA in support of our petition seeking a more complete exemption for agricultural retailers and distributors. In addition to the ARA request, OOIDA has submitted an ELD exemption request to FMCSA that would allow small trucking business that do not have a carrier safety of "unsatisfactory," and can document a proven history of safety performance with no attributable at-fault crashes to continue to use paper logs rather than be forced to install ELDs.

This is the time to let the agency know how the mandate is impacting your business operations and why ELDs are not a one-size-fits-all solution to transportation safety.

When submitting comments, provide specific details and reasoning on how an ELD exemption would improve or maintain the current safety and efficiency of your business and highlight the cost impact of this unfunded, federal mandate. Submit your comments...

Read ARA's ELD Exemption Request...