Some ELD relief for vehicle rentals

Ever since the electronic logging device rule was announced, there have been questions and concerns surrounding the use of ELDs in rental trucks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently made a decision that addresses at least part of the concern. The agency granted a five-year exemption from the ELD requirement for drivers of property-carrying commercial vehicles rented for eight days or fewer. Drivers renting a vehicle for longer than eight days will still have to comply with the ELD mandate.

Even though drivers are exempt from using ELDs, they are not exempt from the Hours of Service rules that govern how long they can drive. They will still need to keep paper logs to verify their hours. Drivers also must keep a copy of the rental agreement in the vehicle to show law enforcement in the event they are stopped for an inspection.

The Truck Renting And Leasing Association (TRALA) petitioned FMCSA to make an exemption for rental trucks because they were concerned about communication issues between the driver’s regular ELD and a rental company’s telematics’ platform. TRALA had asked for an exemption for trucks rented for 30 days or less.

TRALA was concerned that if the rental vehicle had a different system than the driver’s regular truck, the driver would have to manually log HOS information for both by combining the two systems. “This could cause significant loss of time and would require drivers to learn a whole new ELD operating system all to fulfill HOS reporting or short-term rentals.”

TRALA says granting the exemption should help “alleviate some problems that would have existed had TRALA’s petition been denied outright — especially addressing break downs.”

TRALA expressed regrets that their request for an exemption for trucks rented for 30 days or less was not granted.

Once the ELD mandate goes into effect on Dec. 18 it will be important to be remember the exemption only applies to trucks rented for 8 days or fewer. For longer rentals ELDs will have to be used.

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