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A bill was filed earlier this week in the U.S. House that would, if passed, exempt the smallest trucking companies — those with 10 trucks or fewer — from compliance with the USDOT’s electronic logging device mandate on a permanent basis.
Sponsored by a bipartisan duo, Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) and Greg Gianforte (R-Montana), the Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act is the first attempt in Congress at specifically exempting small carriers and single-truck owner-operators from the ELD mandate. The bill was filed more than five months after the mandate’s Dec. 18, 2017, compliance deadline took effect and nearly two months after the mandate’s April 1, 2018, hard enforcement date.
If enacted, the act would allow carriers with 10 or fewer trucks to use paper logs to record duty status, instead of electronic logging devices. To become law, the bill must be passed by the House and the Senate and be signed by President Trump.
A bill was filed in the U.S. House last year by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) to postpone the ELD mandate for two years for carriers of all sizes, though the bill has seen no action since. Shortly after enforcement of the ELD mandate began on April 1, Associated General Contractors of America announced that it would be working on an exemption for construction industry drivers.
Peterson and Gianforte also introduced Wednesday a bill to exempt those hauling agricultural commodities from the ELD mandate. Livestock and ag haulers received compliance extensions beyond the Dec. 18 deadline, though their compliance dates are fast approaching. Livestock haulers must adopt an ELD by the end of September, while ag haulers have only until June 19 to switch from paper logs to an ELD.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in November petitioned FMCSA to allow small business truckers — those with less than $27 million a year in revenue, as defined by the Small Business Administration — with strong safety records to continue to run on paper logs for five years beyond the December 2017 compliance deadline. FMCSA has not yet issued a decision on OOIDA’s waiver.