Since the implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) mandate for electronic logging devices (ELDs) in trucks, carriers and independent drivers have noticed a lot of problems which contribute to inefficiency. As a step to remedy the missteps of the mandate, and ELD exemption bill has been introduced in Washington, DC.

ELD Exemption Bill Has Bipartisan Support

The ELD Exemption bill is sponsored by representatives Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) and Greg Gianforte (R-Montana). Since the ELD mandate directly impacts not only commerce but the livelihood of truckers and their families, it was rather easy to get representative on both sides of the aisle to agree to a bill which makes exemptions for electronic logging devices.

ELD Exemption Bill Explained

The ELD Exemption Bill is focused on small carriers across the country. In this case, “small carriers” are defined as trucking companies with 10 trucks or less in their fleets. Additionally, trucking companies with annual revenues of $27 million or less and strong safety records will fall under the ELD exemption bill. The reasoning behind the bill is that smaller carriers are being used for “last mile” deliveries as well as local shipments. This will initially ease the burden placed on larger fleets to get shipments to their destinations while still following the hours of service rules in place with the current ELD mandate.

This isn’t the First ELD Exemption Bill

Last year, Representative Brian Babin (R-Texas) filed a bill which was supposed to postpone the ELD mandate by two additional years, extending preparations to the end of 2019. No action has been taken on the bill since. In April 2018, shortly after the ELD mandate was officially enforced, the Associated General Contractors of America announced they would be drafting an exemption bill for drivers in the construction industry.

ELD Exemptions for Livestock and Agriculture

While the FMCSA mandate gave extensions to the agricultural industry to switch to ELDs in the summer of 2018, the new bill aims for a different goal. The ELD exemption bill proposed by Gianforte and Peterson would completely remove the mandate from those truckers who haul agricultural and livestock commodities. Currently, livestock haulers have until September 2018 to switch from paper logs to ELDs, while Ag haulers have only until June 19th.

Express Freight Finance will be tracking the latest news on the progress of the exemption bill, and will post developments as we get them.