The Number 1 Resource for Vocational Truck Fleets


OOIDA Seeks to Exempt ‘Small-Business Truckers’ from ELD Rule

November 21, 2017, by David Cullen

Photo: FMCSA
Photo: FMCSA

With the new electronic logging device mandate set to take effect in less than four weeks, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue a temporary but lengthy exemption to the new safety rule for “small-business truckers.”

The petition seeks an exemption from the ELD rule of “no less than five years” (and subject to renewal upon application) for any carrier considered to be “a small transportation trucking business” as defined by the Small Business Administration and “can document a proven history of safety performance with no attributable at-fault crashes” and that do not have a Carrier Safety Rating of “Unsatisfactory.”

OOIDA further stated in its request that the exemption would “not have any adverse impacts on operational safety, as motor carriers and drivers would remain subject to the HOS regulations… as well as the requirements to maintain a paper record of duty status… The exemption would also allow small-business motor carriers to maintain their current practices that have resulted in a proven safety record.”

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, got to the crux of why the group is seeking the exemption in a statement, saying that “Small-business truckers that have already proven their ability to operate safely should not be subject to purchasing costly, unproven and uncertified [electronic logging] devices.”  

In the request, filed with FMCSA on Nov. 21, the self-certification of ELD vendors is discussed as a key issue for OOIA: “FMCSA has stated that they do not know if the self-certified ELDs listed on their website fulfill regulatory requirements in the mandate. At present, none of the 193 devices listed have been validated by the agency or any unbiased, third-party testing program.”

“Most small-business motor carriers can ill afford to make these purchases only to learn later that the ELD is non-compliant,” stated Spencer. “Yet they are required to do so or risk violation.”

OOIDA is also concerned about cybersecurity threat that may be posed by ELDs: “At two recent cybersecurity conferences, a leading research firm released a summary of their findings after analyzing three ELD providers currently listed as self-certified on the FMCSA website. Their general conclusion was that all three devices did very little, if anything at all, to follow best practices and were open to serious compromise.”  

It is OOIDA’s contention that a five-year exemption would provide “necessary time for ELD manufacturers to be fully vetted by the agency, which would alleviate small-business motor carriers from learning that they purchased a device that could damage their vehicle’s electronic control module or be hacked.”  

OOIDA also continues to support a bill introduced in the House back in July by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) that would delay the ELD mandate for two years. H.R.3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, would extend the current implementation date from December 2017 to December 2019. The bill has been referred for consideration by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

On Nov. 20, FMCSA revealed it will issue a truly temporary ELD waiver of 90 days, but it will be limited to haulers of agricultural commodities operating within a specified radius. That waiver is slated to be formally announced in early December.

For everyone else, the ELD mandate remains clearly on track to become law on Dec. 18, less than 30 days from this writing.

Editor's note: Click here for ongoing coverage of the ELD mandate by the editors of HDT.

Related: FMCSA to Issue 90-Day ELD Waiver to Ag Haulers


  1. 1. Marvin [ November 22, 2017 @ 05:33AM ]

    Why would the FMCSA allow any exemption for small fleets and O/O's? That's the group(s) that are targeted for elimination. There has been a very large amount of money spent by the ATA, large fleets, and others that will benefit from this expensive mandate into the hands of politicians so don't look for a pass. Even with overwhelming evidence that ELDs don't produce the 'narrative' outcome the parade continued.

  2. 2. Kenny Scott [ November 22, 2017 @ 05:46AM ]

    It should have be 5 years in the first place just to be fair to the investments people made.The Fmcsa force fed this rule without consideration that they were changing the whole business structure of the real people who move American. I am so sick of hearing from the ATA it’s for Saftey , if their so concern for Saftey why don’t The have their big boys like UPS drive the speed limit and many other of their other members. Oh wait UPS got an exception , so they can speed.

  3. 3. David [ November 22, 2017 @ 05:52AM ]

    There are many small groups that contribute to our overall transportation needs. Unfortunately, this is the group that states they cannot make a living if they cannot run illegal. This is the group that has been the number one group of violating the HOS. If nothing else, we will have a level playing field for all participants.

  4. 4. CA trucker [ November 22, 2017 @ 06:43AM ]

    I agree with David. The rule was made two years ago so we all knew it was coming. Most apps have a small investment of a few hundred dollars and work with your smart phone that you already have.
    OOIDA is worried about being hacked? Really? Most of us already use the internet for a variety of purposes sharing information and credit card numbers.

    There can be no valid excuse except that a trucker wants to cheat on hours of service. Period!

    Unfair to all the other truckers that play by the rules. And many of those are "small"truckers with a few trucks. To exempt OO's will continue the tradition of undercutting rates for those that comply.


  5. 5. William [ November 22, 2017 @ 07:20AM ]

    ......if anything, the O/O keep the rates higher. The big companies are cutting the rates, or did I misunderstand you?

  6. 6. Dlo [ November 22, 2017 @ 07:34AM ]

    I don't want myself or the 3 drivers that work for me to be on the a level playing field with the companies that runs ELD's. Because, that means that now we will have to drive by a clock that doesn't care if there's black ice on the ground or what the weather condition is or what the traffic conditions are. Once that 14 hour clock starts you are at it's mercy. No more stopping in Tallapoosa, GA at exit 5 to wait for the traffic to clear in Atlanta, nope, just join the parking lot everyday with everyone else. I could go on and on. But, lets just be clear why we are in this dangerous situation. The so call pro business Republicans Congress pass the MAP21 ACT on July 6, 2012 ( they were the party that was in charge of Congress and Congress does make the laws not presidents, they only sign them into law) we are stuck with this nonsense. And they aren't going to do anything to change the law that they voted for, no matter how bad a law it is. Because as you know, they have to do what their donors want. Not, what's good for small trucking companies like mine and so many others.

    So, no. I do not want to be on a level playing field with these large trucking who has ELD's installed in their trucks and the worst safety records in the industry.

    My company's safety record is great. Four drivers, two with 24 years experience and two with 4 years experience. No accidents, no tickets, no write ups and no shut down orders.

    So thanks, but no thanks to the level playing field.


  7. 7. Bubba [ November 22, 2017 @ 10:23AM ]

    I still don't get why everyone opposes ELDs. The majority of drivers and OOs that use them think they are wonderful and would never go back to paper logs. It frees up a lot of their time. The only people afraid of ELDs are the guys running illegally, the guys who can somehow get a load from Chicago to NYC in a day? They are the guys that are keeping rates low by operating outside the HOS rules. Plain and simple, eliminating the bad eggs will help push rates up and everyone will make more money operating LEGALLY.

  8. 8. CA trucker [ November 22, 2017 @ 10:35AM ]

    Amen Bubba,

    We are a small fleet 25 trucks in California. It's a startup cost for sure as well as training to get up to speed but in the long run I believe if you don't keep up with the times, especially technology, you will not survive.

    And if you can't do it legally you do not belong in this industry. The industry needs to step up, educate shippers, charge for standby delays when appropriate and set your rates to make a fair return on your time and investment.

    If you have to run over hours you are lowering your personal value.

  9. 9. Happy on ELD's [ November 22, 2017 @ 11:29AM ]

    We're one of those small fleets (40 trucks) that OOIDA is supposedly lobbying for. We're mostly owner-operator and are in both the platform and box sectors, so we see all of the supposed pitfalls for ELD's. We switched three years ago, and the result has been all good. More miles, less support-staff work and virtually no violations.

    The big difference between paper and ELD is that you have to actually plan your day, and you can't go back and recreate (falsify) what you've done. Our drivers no longer need to worry about pulling into a weigh station or getting stopped in a random roadside inspection. They are always legal. My observation is that the only people working to avoid ELD's are the companies and drivers who are continually running illegally. Which by the way only benefits your customers because you're not charging them what the real cost of their transportation is.

    All the B.S. about not being able to make money on ELD's is just that, B.S. The smart guys realize that this is the best thing to happen to truck drivers, contractors and trucking companies in years, maybe decades. They're finally going to be able to force their customers and companies to pay them for the "time" they put in, instead of the miles they drive. The day of reckoning for rates and compensation is right around the corner.

  10. 10. Soonerfan [ November 22, 2017 @ 12:38PM ]

    I disagree that anyone that doesn't support the mandate is running illegally. My company does nothing but daily scheduled dedicated service and all routes are operated in compliance. The majority of the routes are short haul with straight trucks are home every night and fall within the exemption. The issue is that I have 100 truck operating and operate 7 daily routes that will be subject to the mandate. However, I can't simply put the devices on 7 trucks the way that we slip trucks and move them on a regular basis. So now I have to put them on almost half my fleet so that the 7 that are required can get into any vehicle and have the device. It is very cost prohibitive and no I don't think it is right.

  11. 11. Richard [ November 24, 2017 @ 11:28AM ]

    If All the truckers had any balls, they would just refuse to comply with this crap, tell the govt. to go to hell, and just let the freight sit and rot especially critical drugs, gasses etc, Take the power back to the truckers where it belongs and enjoy the catastrophic mess we could create.
    They can't jail all of us and the solution would come quickly and be FUN FUN to be a part of.
    But this will never happen , all the goody two shoes and mammas babys in the industry today

  12. 12. Richard [ November 26, 2017 @ 02:12PM ]

    Well, David, Bubba and CA trucker and who-ever else think that people who don't want ELDs must be running illegally. You're ALL IDIOTS. That is not the reason most people don't want them. It's because they don't need to be told exactly what to do, when to do it, like a lot of you do. There is a difference between logging on paper and with an ELD. I could tell you, but you are too stupid to understand it.It has nothing to do with running or not running legal or illegal. I hear people with ELDs saying how they use them that don't sound legal. Can't be, they are lying on them. The government forces drivers to lie, fudge whatever you want to call it, to make a living and be safe on the road. This is not a ONE-SIZE fit all industry and job.

  13. 13. Jerry Key [ November 27, 2017 @ 01:13PM ]

    Lazy people and people that can't think for their self love ELDs

  14. 14. Jerry Key [ November 27, 2017 @ 01:27PM ]

    All truckers should shut down Dec 18th and not answer phone till 2nd of Jan see if they still want ELDs or let truckers work

  15. 15. Richard Davis [ November 30, 2017 @ 03:24PM ]

    Your probably right, BUBBA you and Ca trucker, you two's name says it all. Why you don't get it. You're too stupid.

  16. 16. Cajun [ December 13, 2017 @ 03:56PM ]

    The class-action lawsuit we need to file, will be based upon the grounds of:

    *"cruel and unusual punishment"
    *"economic hardship"
    *"risking our private information and businesses
    *"forcing us to utilize ELD/Equipment/Software that the FMCSA didn't even bother to beta test (most of these programs are so glitchy and bug-ridden that it beggars description).

    We need to sue the FMCSA so hard for this little stunt, that the Congress can no longer afford to fund them. They are intentionally harming law-abiding, tax-paying small businesses, and jeopardizing our way of life. Rise up, hire an attorney, and let's drive these parasites out of our lives and our businesses.

  17. 17. Terrell Nesbitt [ December 15, 2017 @ 07:11AM ]

    Big companies that has already implemented eld (swift, in hunt, fed ex, ups, etc) are the ones according to statistics are the ones who have been in the most accidents (some fatal) while the ones using paper logs have been in less accidents. So how is this eld mandate safer exactly??? This eld mandate is for the bigger companies to push smaller operations out of the business...

  18. 18. Phil Meyers [ January 17, 2018 @ 12:59PM ]

    Hello we are emailing our rep. and senators and are trying to fight the E L D s as hard as we can. 616 895 6683

  19. 19. Thomas markwith [ April 13, 2018 @ 02:50AM ]

    To hell with the ELD!!..


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Fuel Management

Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Verizon Connect will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Sponsored by

ROUSH CleanTech, a division of Roush Enterprises, designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles and Blue Bird and Micro Bird school buses.

Read more