Today the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a request with the FMCSA that would exempt small business truckers with a proven track record of safety from ELD regulation requirements.

OOIDA: Safe Small Business Carriers Should Be Exempt From ELD Mandate

The request filed on November 21 would provide truckers with a five year exemption from the ELD Mandate on three conditions. The first condition is that the trucker must be classified small business according to guidelines established by the Small Business Administration. The second condition is that the trucker must have no attributable at-fault crashes. The third condition is that that trucker must not have a Carrier Safety Rating of “Unsatisfactory.” Per the exemption request, drivers would still be subject to current hours of service regulations and would maintain paper logs.

ELDs Are Expensive And Do Not Guarantee Safety, Argues OOIDA

OOIDA provides several reasons for the exemption request. OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer argues that truckers who have already proven themselves to be safe should not be subject to ELD regulation requirements: “Small-business truckers that have already proven their ability to operate safely should not be subject to purchasing costly, unproven and uncertified devices.

OOIDA estimates that the ELD Mandate will cost trucking over $2 billion.

The exemption request also points out that installing an ELD device on a truck does not guarantee improved safety and provides a chart to back up this claim.

OOIDA goes on to argue that the FMCSA has not done enough to make sure that the vendor self-certified ELD devices listen on the agency’s website actually fulfill the requirements of the ELD Mandate. From the exemption request:

“At present, none of the 193 ELD solutions listed on the FMCSA web site have been validated by the Agency or any unbiased third party testing program; yet carriers are required to purchase and use these devices or risk violation. Most small-business motor carriers can ill afford to buy a self-certified ELD only to learn later that the ELD is non-compliant. FMCSA has continually stated that they do not know if the self-certified ELD’s fulfill the regulatory requirements but yet motor carriers and/or drivers are still responsible for purchasing a compliant ELD.”

Exemption Request Points Out ELD Cybersecurity Issues

The exemption request also raises issue with possible cyber security threats associated with the use of ELDs:

“Because ELDs will be connected to a truck engine, they could be a target for hackers to take control of the vehicle. ELDs could also be vulnerable to data manipulation – both professional and personal. Owner-operators exempted from the mandate will not have to worry about losing control of their vehicle or the loss of their personal data via an ELD and will operate at an equal or greater level of safety than complying with the mandate.”

OOIDA also says that cybersecurity experts have found that three FMCSA approved ELD devices were open to compromise from hackers.