FMCSA Denies SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker Association Request for HOS ELD Exemption

The FMCSA Decision

These applicants requested an exemption from the ELD requirements on behalf of their members (fresh produce shippers and small truck businesses). According to the applicants, many of their members were not fully prepared to meet the December 18, 2017, compliance date. The exemption would allow members involved in segments of America's agricultural transportation industry to delay using ELDs for one year. The applicants asserted that the exemption, if granted, would give the marketplace time necessary to develop cost-effective and practical solutions for the specific needs of impacted stakeholders and would allow FMCSA time to address training programs with compliant ELD options.

FMCSA reviewed the application and the 41 comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. The information provided by the applicants failed to distinguish the drivers who would be included under the exemption. The applicants failed to indicate how they could ensure that the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by compliance with the HOS regulation.

SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker Association Request for HOS ELD Exemption

In addition to this exemption request, applicants have filed a request for a delay in ELD enforcement and a request for an ELD waiver. Those issues are being addressed through separate processes and will not be discussed further in this notice.

The applicants request an exemption from the ELD requirements on behalf of their members (fresh produce shippers and small truck businesses). According to the applicants, many of their members are not fully prepared to meet the December 18, 2017, compliance date. Additionally, the current ELD retail marketplace does not accommodate the needs of the applicant's industry segment, and does not factor in existing HOS exemptions currently used by members. The applicants question whether any ELD self-certified device would fully function given the lack of access to broadband in many rural areas. The applicants also expressed their concern about ELD security against cyber-attacks, enforcement, cost, and training.

The applicants assert that the exemption, if granted, would give the marketplace time necessary to develop cost-effective and practical solutions for the specific needs of impacted stakeholders and would allow FMCSA to properly address necessary training programs with compliant ELD options. The applicants believe that if the exemption is not granted the ELD rule will cause significant challenges and harm to fresh produce shippers and small truck businesses. According to the applicants, granting the exemption will achieve a level of safety equivalent to the level achieved by the ELD requirements.

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