The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Werner Enterprises tomorrow will formally sign an agreement that codifies a two-year exemption allowing drivers to document their hours of service using a GPS-based paperless logging system as a replacement for paper logs.
Omaha-based Werner has been testing the system for six years and is the only trucking company to employ paperless logs with GPS technology.
“FMCSA has monitored closely Werner’s use of the GPS technology and complementary software program since June 1998. Based on this experience, the agency believes the terms and conditions of the exemption achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, that provided by complying with the current RODS (handwritten records of duty status) requirements,” the agency noted.
Under the exemption, drivers must note immediately any failure of the GPS technology or computer system and begin using hardcopy logs. In addition, FMCSA said it will not hold Werner to a higher standard of compliance than the rest of the industry nor would it handle complaints or conduct investigations any differently.
FMCSA is currently reviewing public comments on how motor carriers use a variety of electronic onboard recording systems, and Werner’s experience, especially with costs and benefits, are expected to a well-studied part of the collected data.