April was a busy month since the hard ELD enforcement date starting April 1. Changes continue to be made in agriculture and tank hauling. CVSA is focused on day-to-day enforcement as well as an Hours of Service enforcement road check.
There have been many exemptions filed for livestock and agriculture haulers in recent months. In the agriculture exemption, no ELD is required if the vehicle is within a 150-mile radius of the beginning of the load (the farm or ranch).
On April 18, 2018, Tennessee passed a bill signed by Governor Bill Haslam to not use enforcement funds for some agriculture haulers on ELDs. This comes after news in March that the FMCSA extended the deadline for the waiver on ELDs with agriculture haulers. Those who transport agricultural cargo initially had a 90-day waiver from the ELD rule; it was extended another 90 days in March (ending mid-June). The new exemption only applies to those already under this agriculture waiver. Tennessee is not the only state that has filed to alter ELD Enforcement funds. In February, Idaho asked for a permanent exemption for livestock haulers.
Another group that has received an extended exemption is hazmat tank haulers. Trucks that haul petroleum products received a five-year exemption from the 30-minute rest break requirement on April 9, 2018. This effort was driven by both the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) and the Trucking Association of Massachusetts (TAM). The exemption applies to drivers on duty more than 12 hours. Drivers receive 14 hours to complete fuel runs.
The 90-day short-term rental exemption that began in January officially ended on April 19, 2018. Short-term rental trucks could keep a copy of the waiver notice during this time but now must comply with the ELD Mandate. At this time, with no other published information from FMCSA, it appears the eight-day maximum short-term rental for not requiring ELDs is in effect. FMCSA may publish some communication on this shortly.
Hard enforcement began on April 1. This means that violation of the ELD Mandate requirements could result in actual CSA violations. The CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) severity weights were released in April for the ELD violations that will begin to be posted to CSA scores. The severity weights for no ELD or not being able to produce logs hold a severity weight of 5. The severity weights for the carrier and driver issues of no supporting documents is high at 7. More details can be found here.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)’s Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee recently held a workshop. The main confusion was around whether a device could transfer Hours of Service data via eRODs. If the ELD could not transfer, the display screen was an acceptable roadside audit method with no violation.
CVSA is preparing for its annual inspection blitz, this year taking place June 5-7. The areas of focus in the past two years have been in cargo securement and tire and wheel violations. This year, the spotlight is on Hours of Service compliance. This will be part of a Level I, 37-step inspection process. Last year, more than 62 thousand inspections were conducted in North America over the three-day inspection event. During this inspection, approximately 15-20 percent of vehicles get put out of service for vehicle- or driver-related issues.
Any fleet that still is not compliant with the ELD Mandate can expect violations at any time. If you still do not have a compliant solution, make sure you get one in place before June 5, at the very latest.