NFIB files comments in support of OOIDA’s ELD exemption request

January 29, 2018

Greg Grisolano


The National Federation of Independent Business is throwing its support behind OOIDA’s ELD exemption request for small trucking businesses.

In comments filed as part of the docket for the exemption request, NFIB asks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to grant OOIDA’s request.

Based in Washington, D.C., NFIB represents more than 325,000 small businesses in the U.S. The group works to defend the rights of small business owners from “undue government interference.”

“We’re very thankful for NFIB’s support,” said Collin Long, OOIDA’s senior director of legislative affairs. “Their members, many of whom will be impacted by the ELD mandate, know how destructive excessive federal mandates can be. NFIB’s support demonstrates this disastrous regulation is having a dramatic impact across many industries.”

OOIDA filed the exemption request in November. The Association is asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to allow small trucking carriers that do not have an “unsatisfactory” safety rating and can document a proven history of safety performance without attributable at-fault crashes to be allowed to continue to use paper logs rather than ELDs to record hours of service. The requests asks for a five-year exemption.

OOIDA issued a Call to Action earlier in January, asking all drivers to file comments in support of the request. The deadline to file comments is Feb. 1.

The Call to Action notes that the agency “must take public feedback into account as they determine whether or not to grant the exemption” and advises those submitting comments, to “provide specific details and reasoning about how the exemption would improve the safety and efficiency of your business.”

Click here to submit comments directly to docket No. FMCSA-2017-0356.
Click here to read the formal application for exemption notice.

OOIDA has long been skeptical of the purported safety benefits of the devices. The Association notes that many large motor carriers have been using ELDs for years, but a 2011 study done by FMCSA found little research supporting the effectiveness of electronic logging devices in reducing crashes.

The five-year exemption requested by OOIDA would provide necessary time for the agency to fully vet electronic logging devices, which would alleviate small-business motor carriers from learning that they purchased a device that could damage their vehicles’ electronic control module or be hacked.

Commercial truck drivers are restricted to a limited number of working and driving hours under current regulations. The FMCSA’s mandate requires that truck drivers use ELDs to track their driving and nondriving activities even though such devices can only track movement and location of a vehicle. OOIDA contends that requiring electronic monitoring devices on commercial vehicles does not increase safety since they are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording compliance with hours-of-service regulations.