Agricultural Retailers Association asks for ELD exemption

December 28, 2017

Greg Grisolano


Add another group of truckers to the growing list of those seeking an exemption from the electronic logging mandate.

Citing a litany of concerns including the potential for cyberattacks and the lack of reliable broadband internet access in rural America, the Agricultural Retailers Association is seeking an exemption from the mandate for its members.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is accepting public comments on the exemption request from now until January 29, 2018. Comments may be filed electronically here.

The ARA is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing small and large businesses that supply farmers and ranchers with products and services, including seed, nutrients, crop protection products, feed, equipment and technology.

In its written request for the exemption, ARA Senior Vice President Richard Gupton writes that the current ELD retail marketplace lacks devices that are able to factor in existing hours-of-service exemptions for industry segments like agricultural retailers. The group is also critical of FMCSA’s decision to allow ELD makers to self-certify their device’s compliance with the regulations.

“We believe the current ELD self-certification process is seriously flawed,” Gupton wrote. “There does not appear to be any robust third-party screening process to verify the claims being made by these manufacturers.”

ARA also cited a lack of sufficient broadband internet infrastructure in rural America among its reasons for an exemption.

“There continues to be places in rural America where there is no internet access or slow broadband as well as minimal to no mobile phone service,” Gupton wrote. “The FMCSA imposing an ELD mandate at a time where there are many locations in rural America where the device will not properly function due to lack of connectivity issues will only cause economic hardship and create serious compliance issues for our impacted industries, especially small, independent businesses.”