The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments regarding ELD regulation changes. Specifically, FMCSA is considering changes in the following areas:
1. Applicability to Pre-2000 Engines
Many vehicles with pre-2000 engines, and most vehicles with rebuilt pre-2000 engines, have engine control modules (ECMs) installed that could accommodate an ELD. Should FMCSA re-evaluate or modify the applicability of the current ELD regulation for re-built or re-manufactured CMV engines or glider kits?
2. Addressing ELD Malfunctions
Currently, § 395.34(a) requires a driver to switch to paper logs when an ELD malfunctions. Section 395.34(c) requires a driver to follow the motor carrier and ELD provider recommendations when a data diagnostic event is logged.
Whenever an ELD fails to record a driver’s hours, enforcement personnel must be able to review the driver’s paper logs. By contrast, when an ELD malfunctions but continues to record the driver’s hours accurately, the driver should not switch to paper logs.
Should FMCSA make ELD regulation changes and amend carrier and driver responsibilities to clarify when a driver must switch to paper logs?
3. Removal Process
ELD providers are required to keep their information current. However, the rule does not include a time restriction. Should FMCSA require ELD providers to:
- Update their listing within 30 calendar days of any change to their registration information?
- Should an ELD provider’s ELD be removed from the FMCSA list if it fails to confirm or update its listing on an annual basis?
Under Section 5.4 Removal of Listed Certification, providers must respond to the Agency’s written notice of required corrective action within 30 days to remain on the list. Additionally, the provider is given 60 days after the Agency provides a written modification to the notice of proposed removal or notice to affirm the proposed removal under Section 5.4.4. Should FMCSA consider decreasing the 60-day period to 30 days, in order to more timely remove an ELD listing found with noncompliance issues that could adversely impact highway safety?
4. Technical Specifications
FMCSA requests information on the impact of including the following data elements to every event. FMCSA believes recording this information would allow the technical specifications to be modified to eliminate the requirements of providing power up and shut down events from vehicles a driver has previously operated that are not associated with the requested driver’s data/Record of Duty Status:
- Actual odometer
- Actual engine hours
- Location description
- Power unit
- Shipping document number
- Trailer number
- Co-driver if there was one
- Which driver was driving at the time, if there was a co-driver
FMCSA granted a temporary exception (82 FR 48883, Oct. 20, 2017) that allowed all motor carriers to configure an ELD with a yard-move mode that does not require a driver to re-input yard-move status every time the tractor is powered off. Additionally, the ELD would switch to a ‘‘driving’’ duty status under § 395.24 if:
- The driver inputs ‘‘driving,’’
- The vehicle exceeds 20 mph, or
- The vehicle exits the geofenced yard.
Should FMCSA consider adding this temporary exception to the regulation?
In the preamble to the 2015 final rule, FMCSA stated that the driver was expected to enter a new duty status before powering off the ELD and turning the vehicle off. However, drivers often fail to enter a new duty status prior to powering off the ELD, resulting in the driver remaining in driving status. To eliminate the issue, should the ELD automatically record an on-duty not driving event following the recording of an engine shutdown? Are there other options that should be considered in the proposed ELD regulation changes?
5. ELD Certification
Should FMCSA establish a certification process for ELDs? If so, what should a certification process consist of? If a certification process is established, how should existing devices be treated?
ELDs have been in use long enough that motor carriers and ELD providers will have enough data to draft their replies. One potential change, applicability to pre-2000 engines, is certain to generate a lot of comments. Keep in mind that FMCSA is not seeking a “yes or no” response to these questions. Their expectation is that comments will include facts and data to support the stated position. The comment period for the proposed ELD regulation changes ends November 15, 2022.