As you are aware, the ELD rule comes into effect December 18, 2017, less than a week away. We have received many calls from dealers in recent weeks about what they are required to do under the rule, and the status of our association’s exemption application. Here is an update on both those issues.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will most likely not reach a determination on our exemption application before the deadline. We have been working closely with the FMCSA in the past few months and despite consistent pressure and overwhelming support during the notice and comment period for our exemption application, the agency does appear ready to make a determination. Action on our request will likely come in the first quarter of 2018.
Without the exemption being granted, most dealers will be required to install ELDs in their commercial vehicles. There are limited exceptions to when an ELD is required, such as if all driving falls under the agribusiness exemption or short-haul exemption. We are working with FMCSA on more clear guidance for when both exemptions exist. We have included a short, incomplete guidance document on the agribusiness exemption and its operation with the ELD rule. The FMCSA will issue more complete guidance on the agribusiness exemption, but not until the New Year most likely.
The association is working with enforcement agencies in each state to educate them on the agribusiness exemption. The complexities of the new federal ELD rule and its exemptions are not fully understood by state and local enforcement agencies. We are working to improve understanding of the rule to prevent errant application of it by enforcement agencies. We recommend having the attached ELD fact sheet available in the cab of your vehicles to present to local and state enforcement agencies to clarify to enforcement officials when you are operating under the agribusiness exemption.
WEDA will continue working on this issue with FMCSA and pursuing our exemption from the ELD rule. Our efforts will not stop there if we are deterred. If needed, we will pursue an exemption in a forthcoming federal transportation bill that is expected in 2018.
WEDA will continue working on this issue with FMCSA and pursuing our exemption from the ELD rule. Our efforts will not stop there if we are deterred. If needed, we will pursue an exemption in a forthcoming federal transportation bill that is expected in 2018. Agriculture Exemption Fact Sheet
If you have questions as to whether you need to install an ELD, are exempt from it, or would like more information, please contact your association office.