Latest exemption lets truckers change duty status via mobile ELD

October 20, 2017

Greg Grisolano


The latest exemption to the electronic logging mandate will allow drivers who use a mobile device-based ELD to change their duty status outside of or away from their vehicles.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted the waiver request filed by Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, according to documents filed Friday in the Federal Register.

Per the agency’s ruling, the exemption will apply to all carriers, not just UPS. Drivers using a portable, driver-based ELD will be allowed to change their duty status outside of the truck as long as the driver annotates the ELD record to indicate the appropriate duty status. The exemption has been granted for five years and expires Oct. 20, 2022.

UPS applied for exemptions from various parts of the ELD mandate, including the portion that requires an ELD to automatically record certain data elements upon a duty-status change when the driver is not in the vehicle. Any time the driver is in the truck with the engine on, the portable ELD will still be required to automatically record change of duty status and logins or logouts.

The agency also granted a second waiver for all carriers, allowing them to perform multiple “yard moves” without having to re-enter “yard move” every time the tractor is powered off, thus reducing the number of inputs a driver has to make if they are moving trucks around a yard all day.

“In granting these blanket exemptions, FMCSA has addressed just a couple of the inconsistencies from the final ELD rulemaking,” said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s manager of federal affairs. “Unfortunately, many more issues, such as self-certification and cybersecurity, remain unresolved as the Dec. 18 implementation date nears closer. These problems must be fixed by the agency or else the industry, especially small-business truckers, will be forced to deal with the negative consequences of another one-size-fits-all mandate.”

In addition to the exemptions, FMCSA clarified two other parts of UPS’ exemption request. The clarifications state that fleets using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices that have been grandfathered into the ELD mandate until December 2019 may install the same AOBRD in a replacement vehicle after the Dec. 18 deadline. However, newly purchased and installed AOBRDs after the December 2017 deadline will not be grandfathered into exemption.

The agency also clarified that so-called “wash and fuel” employees who only drive trucks on company property and do not drive on public roads are exempt from hours-of-service regulations and do not require ELDs.