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Indiana Wants ELD Rule Delayed

November 30, 2017, by David Cullen

In an 11th-hour request, the attorney general of Indiana has proposed that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration delay implementation of the electronic logging device rule set for Dec. 18 — less than 3 weeks from today.

While numerous attempts to halt or delay the rollout of the ELD rule have been made in federal courts and on Capitol Hill, this request marks the first time a state official — and in this case, a very high-ranking official in a top trucking state — has advocated taking such action.

Attorney General Curtis T. Hill Jr. (R) stated in a Nov. 29 letter to FMCSA Chief Counsel Randi Hutchison that a delay was needed because to “immediately begin requiring drivers to use ELDs exclusively (except, as the new rule allows, for those with on-board recording devices installed before Dec. 18, 2017) would place undue burdens on drivers and operators.” 

His chief concern is that there is no government or third-party verification in place for the ELD device self-certification process FMCSA has suppliers using in order to be registered with the agency.  

“With manufacturers of ELDs currently responsible for ‘self-certifying’ their compliance with government standards — with no effective procedures seemingly yet developed to provide oversight over such ‘self-certifying’ — drivers and operators are left without any way of ascertaining which brands and models of devices ultimately will pass muster,” wrote Hill. “They must ‘fly blindly’ into investing in products they are being required to purchase.” 

He then argued in detail that several crucial issues may result from the device certification and registration protocol now in place, including but not limited to the following:

  • “Certain steps outlined in the Plan and Procedures Manual are ‘not required to be completed’ because they cannot be completed. The actual data transfer has not and cannot be trialed with a safety official — and the Web Services Portal as of this writing is not fully operational. Manufacturers are left with a statement that data transfer via email, USB and Bluetooth can still be tested in the manufacturers’ testing environments and if the required output file can be generated per the technical specifications in that manner and environment that it ‘will work in FMCSA Web Services.’
  • “Further, manufacturers are to rely on the most recent version of the manual published to the website; yet the most recent version, Version 2.0, remains incomplete, including but not limited to, suggested testing schedules and quality assurance programs. FMCSA’s website continues to maintain that the email and web services testing environments are ‘coming soon.’ This is particularly concerning considering the number of registered devices on the list currently who have yet to utilize these tools and the pressing compliance date of Dec. 18, 2017.”
  • “Even if a particular ELD appears on the list of registered ELDs, it is still possible for the device to not ultimately be compliant or conform to the required technical specifications of the ELD Rule — which could result in significant harm to the consumer as the device would likely already be deployed at the time non-compliance would be discovered and countless resources wasted.”
  • “While a driver will be permitted to use paper logs temporarily if a device is found to be non-compliant, it has been reported that the motor carrier will only have eight (8) days from notification to replace the noncompliant device with a compliant one. If the problem is widespread throughout a large fleet, the FMCSA has suggested it would be ‘flexible’ but has provided no further guidance. This could have a detrimental effect on smaller carrier companies should the device they select run afoul of guidelines. In fact, the costs associated with such an occurrence have the potential to put some carriers out of business and negatively impact competition and interstate commerce.”
  • “Compliance with the ELD rule will only be determined by individual enforcement personnel’s interpretation of the data after it has successfully transferred through FMCSA’s systems. It remains unclear whether any guidelines or regulations have been developed and/or implemented for said interpretation and whether or not a particular device will even be able to transmit the data successfully. This will inevitably lead to a great deal of ambiguity and differing interpretations. FMCSA has stated that some but not all enforcement agencies will be utilizing Electronic Record of Duty Status Systems (ERODS) to determine compliance with federal regulations. FMCSA is ultimately not providing the manufacturers with access to that platform to test their devices to date. It has been reported in the industry that some larger manufacturers believe the only way to truly test compliance would be through use of ERODS or through the use of further technical resources and information – none of which are yet available or promised.”
  • “The technical specifications as laid out in the ELD final rule are extremely complex and can be interpreted differently by individual manufacturers, who are the entities certifying compliance, yet the testing procedures laid out by FMCSA are not binding on said entities. Further, there is no set manner of testing that must be conducted, much less passed, before deployment of a particular device to consumers.”
  • “Consumers may assume that if a device is certified and registered that it bears the approval of FMCSA and is in fact compliant with the ELD Rule. They may purchase a particular device on that premise. However, there is no guarantee or way to verify that the device is actually compliant with the said technical specifications until said compliance is called into question.”

In closing, Hill requested that FMCSA hold off on implementing the ELD rule until the agency can “develop guidelines that offer greater clarity to the individuals you expect to follow them.”

In a Nov. 30 press release, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said it applauds the request made by the Indiana attorney general. "This request from a state agency is a prime example how states are beginning to understand the reality of this broadly written mandate and its negative consequences," said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA. "Law enforcement is simply not ready for this.

“Most small-business truckers can ill afford to make these purchases only to learn later that their ELD is non-compliant," he added. "Yet they are required to do so or risk violation."

In confirming to HDT that the agency has received Attorney General Hill’s letter and is reviewing its contents, FMCSA Director of External Affairs Sharon Worthy noted that “FMCSA is operating under a statutorily designated deadline for ELD implementation.” 

In other words, don’t expect the request from Indiana to trigger any stay on the roll out of the mandate.

Comments

  1. 1. john every [ November 30, 2017 @ 11:06AM ]

    Thank God for a Government official with some common sense. This rule is incredible overkill. Every single one of his comments is correct. And yet, if it stands, they will still write citations for fines.

  2. 2. Raymond Gerling [ November 30, 2017 @ 11:13AM ]

    As a small Business Owner I Don't think the public is a ware of the cost down the line this is going to passed on to all of us . We are going to be at the officers demands when it comes to fines and OS Regulations and that is scary ! I Feel that this is going to Drive the old Timers into Retirement sooner than they want to . Thanks

  3. 3. Richard Golden [ November 30, 2017 @ 12:04PM ]

    Stoneridge's EZ-ELD is Certified to the FMCSA's Standard and recieved third party validation by recognized industry experts, attorneys Annette Sandberg and Jerad Childress of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary.
    A trusted voice and advisor to the transportation industry, Sandberg has more than 20 years of professional public safety and law enforcement experience, including serving as the second Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from 2003 to 2006.

  4. 4. Marvin [ November 30, 2017 @ 12:38PM ]

    The last two paragraphs sum it all up. Director Sharon Worthy said as politely as she could "tough shit boys"......."we're the government and we'll fix everything as it moves along"......."all we have to do is keep throwing money at it".

    So there you have it again. Another 'one size fits all' program from a government that hasn't successfully run anything!

  5. 5. Beasley [ November 30, 2017 @ 12:38PM ]

    I just listened to a webinar .... and all i can say is that there is no way states nor the government are prepared for this ..... it was an informative webinar. I am primarily an ag transporter and i was hoping there would be some clarification for the Agriculture extension. nope they are workin on guidance as to how to properly use the map 21 150 AIR mile radius (which equates to 172 miles) in conjuction with an ELD .. so many elements that require "Guidance" from FMSCA and that will take time ... one question asked was are the enforcers ... prepared ... and the answer was they have been trained but until they get out there we have no way of knowing if the are prepared .... Biggest message was the delay in enforcement until march only appies to ELD VIOLATIONS.... NOT HOS or CDL or Medical Card or anything else. Also the supporting documents required by drivers is interesting ..... all I can do is shake my head and wonder not if it will be a mess but HOW big of a mess it will be. They never really answered my Agriculture questions ... so I guess we step back and punt. So many unanswered questions. oh also if the ELD malfunctions driver must submit IN WRITING to company and begin using paper logs.... company has 8 days to get it back working -- if the company can't get it fixed in that time frame they must contact the State office of the FMCSA and beg for an extension of the 8 days.....

  6. 6. Richard Davis [ November 30, 2017 @ 02:07PM ]

    This is not a one-size-fits-all industry and job. This is the typical bull, in the trucking industry. The government comes up with this crap and don't have their crap together. The driver, as usual, is left holding the bag. In this case the small companies too. The DOT or police will have NO clue about these ELDs, but that won't stop them from righting tickets.

  7. 7. Victor Gabris [ December 01, 2017 @ 03:43AM ]

    I'll say it short and sweet, we need to send a message to the government, at midnight 12/17 there needs to be a national shutdown if this ELD mandate is not overturned, remember UNITED WE STAND DEVISED WE FALL

  8. 8. Victor Gabris [ December 01, 2017 @ 04:00AM ]

    DIVIDED

  9. 9. Warren Hill JR [ December 01, 2017 @ 04:04AM ]

    Finally someone talking some sense. The person we were dealing with at The company we had chosen did not want to give us any references (it is a nationwide company) Also, at the last minute he informed us it was a minimun three year contract and they finally asmitted just as we were going to sign they admitted their system was not compatable in Canada. As we are located 30 miles from the Canadian border that was a deal breaker. Now we have to start all over again.The companies that are approved should be required to disclose, up front, their limitations.We are a small family company and been in business for 40 years with no HOS violations and are also propably going to loose some older drivers because of this mandate.

  10. 10. JStephens [ December 01, 2017 @ 04:57AM ]

    I am amazed at the amount of companies out there that have had 2 years to get prepared (a lot longer if you are any good at reading the writing on the wall) that are claiming that everything has to be placed on hold for their lack of planning. We have been on AOBRD’ s since 2011 and have had almost no HOS interaction with roadside enforcement during that time. Once the troopers see an elog they lose interest in looking at HOS compliance. I would have thought that the closer it got to the mandate kick-off they would begin looking more closely but that has not been the case. All the doomsday scenarios about the little what ifs in the mandate that could possible go wrong won’t happen, roadside enforcement will , for the foreseeable future just be checking to see if a driver is using an ELD / AOBRD, not digging through all the data with a fine tooth comb. If they do ticket or write up one of our drivers for something that falls into one of these grey areas fight the ticket / DataQ the write-up.

  11. 11. Carlton [ December 01, 2017 @ 05:14AM ]

    NOT digging g thru data with a fine tooth comb and fight the ticket. What a statement, I don't have time or money for that, easier said than done.

  12. 12. Justin [ December 01, 2017 @ 03:03PM ]

    I operate locally,but over the 100 air-mile radius.
    As required i have an ELD. Have had it for some time now.
    The damn thing works! It tells me that I am over hours all the time!
    The other day a four -wheeler slammed into my trailer tridems. I was not hurt at all!! Boy that ELD really does improve my safety!
    The ELD is not the real issue. Hours-of-service is the real issue.A one-size -fits-all rule does not work in an industry as diversified as trucking.Time to get into the 21st century here.

  13. 13. Richard Davis [ December 01, 2017 @ 04:22PM ]

    JStephens, you're not too bright I see. It could be that the troopers haven't bothered to look at your ELD because they know nothing about them.Yes, I bet they will be willing and able to write tickets if a driver doesn't have one in his truck because that is what it's all about, MONEY. You don't think nothing bad will happen with the implication of ELDs? What do you think all these exemptions companies are getting are? The doomsday is yet to come.

  14. 14. TAJ [ December 02, 2017 @ 11:06AM ]

    I HAVE 15 TRUCKS AND I GET CALLS ALL THE TIME FROM SALESMEN TRYING TO SELL ME ELD'S.
    MY QUESTION TO THEM IS HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS AND HOW LONG IS THE WARRANTY.
    MOST TELL ME THAT THEY HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR LESS THEN TWO YEARS.
    WARRANTY IS FROM 30 TO 90 DAYS AND THEY ALL HAVE A HOLD HARMLESS CLAUSE.
    I BELIEVE MOST OF THESE COMPANIES WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS SOON AFTER THEY SELL MOST OF THERE ELD'S AND CUSTOMERS ARE NEEDING REPAIRS AND WARRANTY.
    REMEMBER THE HOLD HARMLESS CLAUSE.
    IF THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE ELD AND YOU GET FINED YOU CAN NOT GO BACK ON THEM.
    THIS SELF CERTIFICATION SHOULD INCLUDE 5 YEARS FOR WARRANTY AND NO HOLD HARMLESS CLAUSE.

  15. 15. Bob [ December 02, 2017 @ 09:39PM ]

    I completely agree with JStephens.
    We started to use ELDs since 2013, all of our 40 truck owner ops are WELL trained by now with ELD app like Bigroad.com. Now we just upgrading everyone to connect dashlinks, which are the actual bluetooth devices. All Owne Ops are familier with software, so the upgrade is going very smooth. 2 years was plenty of time to prepare, its your fault and you SHOULD be fined if you waited this long, this is childish pathetic.

    ELDs are not perfect, but it has pros too, not just cons, its coming anyway, just let it hit, stop giving false hope... I have 12 years of experience as a driver, owner operator, dispatcher and how a fleet owner of 40 trucks. 2 years was plenty time to research and test which ELDs are best choices.

    I can't wait when ELDs finaly come into effect, so that cheap underbidding trucking companies can go our of business who DO NOT care about safety, and make it hard for companies who DO want want to do it right. Yes HOS regulations are not perfect, but i cant stand it when some idiot owner operator (one truck show) runs 7000 miles in 7 days solo, because he can re-write paper logs 10 times... THATS CRAZY!!! I know how this works, because LONG TIME ago i was that idiot, and had BAD accident because of it... Anyone who says it snot possible to make money without ELDs is correct, as long as we allow ANYONE to run 7000 miles in 7 days, just so they can make extra buck...

  16. 16. Paul Johnson [ December 05, 2017 @ 02:00PM ]

    I am not against the ELD rule but if they want this in our trucks and us to comply with the rules they should be ready first, not the consumer. Also they need to change the rules for hours of service to must have a minimum of 8 hours in the sleeper weather its two 4 hour breaks or one 8 hour break each day with the 1/2 hour break by the 8th hour of on duty. Then get rid of all the other regs for hours of service other than the load requirements that must be entered into the system. Then they won't need to have all the other garbage they have in hours of service and the cost of ELD's goes down and the trucks keep taking care of our country and getting home too.

  17. 17. bob [ December 07, 2017 @ 07:34PM ]

    bob you are still idiot,who can drive 7000 miles per week?

  18. 18. Timothy Hrdlicka [ December 09, 2017 @ 07:39PM ]

    the elogs aren't the problem the 14 hour rule the problem a drive should be able to stop the clock and take a break when he wants to we are not robots if you are in the back sleep rest it should not count against your driving time let get back to realty when driver needs a break and rest he should be able too witht have clock force to him stay on the clock and lost money

 

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