FMCSA grants two minor ELD exemptions requested by UPS

WASHINGTON – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved exemptions to its electronic logging device mandate for drivers using portable ELDs and those only performing yard moves of vehicles.

The exemptions, both lasting for five years, came in response to a request by United Parcel Service for four ELD exemptions.

The two exemptions approved by FMSCA will apply to all commercial motor vehicle drivers covered by the ELD mandate, which takes effect December 18, and will be in effect through Oct. 20, 2022.

The first exemption will temporarily permit the use of portable driver-based ELDs – those run on smartphones and tablets — that record engine data “only when the driver is in a CMV and the engine is powered.”

That means drivers who use smartphone- or tablet-based ELDs will be able to indicate a change of duty status when they are outside of and away from their vehicles. UPS requested the exemption because its drivers are paid by the hour and use electronic devices to punch in for work while they are still in the dispatch building. They then walk to their vehicles and inspect them prior to moving them.

The second exemption will temporarily allow carriers to configure an ELD with a “yard-move mode” that does not require a driver to re-input the vehicle’s yard-move status every time the engine is powered off. That exemption applies to drivers who move vehicles around company property.

UPS also requested an exemption for wash-and-fuel employees who never drive on public roads. FMCSA clarified that such drivers already are exempt from hours-of-service regulations and are not required to use ELDs.

FMCSA also reiterated that fleets that use automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) before the December 18 compliance date are grandfathered into the ELD mandate until December 2019 and can reinstall the devices on new vehicles that replace old vehicles.

However, new AOBRDs cannot be installed on new vehicles that do not replace old ones after the December 18 compliance date, which UPS had asked for permission to do.

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