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Hours of Service; YRC Worldwide Inc. Application for an Exemption From Certain Electronic Logging Device Requirements

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  YRC Worldwide

Hours of Service; YRC Worldwide Inc. Application for an Exemption From Certain Electronic Logging Device Requirements

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
19 September 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 180 (Tuesday, September 19, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43817-43819]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-19909]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0248]


Hours of Service; YRC Worldwide Inc. Application for an Exemption 
From Certain Electronic Logging Device Requirements

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
requests public comment on an application from YRC Worldwide Inc. 
(YRCW) for an exemption from various provisions of the mandate to use 
electronic logging devices (ELDs).

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 19, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2017-0248 using any of the 
following methods:
     Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket 
site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
e.t., Monday-Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting 
comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the 
``Public Participation'' heading below. Note that all comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy Act'' 
heading for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, 
DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.
    Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is 
generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You may find 
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the 
``help'' section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site as well as 
the DOT's http://

[[Page 43818]]

docketsinfo.dot.gov Web site. If you would like notification that we 
received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped 
envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgment page that appears 
after submitting comments online.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-4325, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: YRCW is requesting an exemption (1) to allow 
an alternative ELD phase-in method for fleets using compliant automatic 
on-board recording devices (AOBRDs); (2) from the requirement that an 
ELD automatically record certain data elements upon a duty status 
change when a driver is not in the vehicle; (3) to allow ELDs to be 
configured with a special driving mode for yard moves that does not 
require the driver to re-input yard move status every time the tractor 
is powered off; and (4) to allow vehicle movements of less than one 
mile on YRCW property by non-CDL YRCW drivers to be annotated as ``on 
property--other.'' YRCW believes that the requested temporary 
exemptions will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.

Background

    Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
(TEA- 21) [Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401] amended 49 
U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from 
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). On August 20, 
2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589) implementing section 
4007. Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must 
provide the public with an opportunity to inspect the information 
relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have 
been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public 
comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and 
determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level 
of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)). If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason 
for doing so. If the decision is to grant the exemption, the notice 
must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and 
the regulatory provision or provisions from which an exemption is 
granted. The notice must specify the effective period of the exemption 
(up to 5 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. 
The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)).

YRCW Application for Exemption

    YRCW is a holding company that, through its operating companies, 
offers its customers a wide range of transportation services. Its 
operating companies include YRC Freight (a North American less-than-
truckload (LTL) company), and Holland, Reddaway, and New Penn (regional 
LRL companies). YRCW has applied for an exemption from various 
provisions of 49 CFR part 395 regarding the use of ELDs. Specifically, 
YRCW has requested a temporary exemption (1) to allow an alternative 
ELD phase-in method for fleets using compliant automatic on-board 
recording devices (AOBRDs); (2) from the requirement that an ELD 
automatically record certain data elements upon a duty status change 
when a driver is not in the vehicle; (3) to allow ELDs to be configured 
with a special driving mode for yard moves that does not require the 
driver to re-input yard move status every time the tractor is powered 
off; and (4) to allow vehicle movements of less than one mile conducted 
on YRCW property by non-CDL YRCW drivers to be annotated as ``on 
property--other.''
    YRCW states that its request is almost identical to an exemption 
application submitted by United Parcel Service (Ups) regarding the 
implementation and use of ELDs (see Docket FMCSA-2017-0054), and notes 
that it filed comments in support of the UPS application on July 7, 
2017.
    A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at 
the beginning of this notice.

Alternative ELD Phase-In Method

    Subject to limited exceptions, section 395.8(a)(1)(i) of the FMCSRs 
requires motor carriers to install and use ELDs that comply with the 
technical specifications prescribed for those devices no later than 
December 18, 2017. However, section 395.8(a)(1)(ii) allows a motor 
carrier that installs, and requires its drivers to use, compliant 
AOBRDs before the December 18, 2017, compliance date to continue to use 
those AOBRDs until December 16, 2019, thereby providing a 2-year 
grandfather period for devices installed prior to the compliance date.
    In support of its application, YRCW states:
    Like UPS, current requirements restricting the use of new AOBRDs 
in the transition period would cause company drivers to operate a 
``mixed fleet'' of AOBRDs and ELDs. A ``mixed fleet'' introduces 
significant training challenges and inefficiencies. Groups of driver 
employees at terminals lead safety training with guidance from issue 
experts. As such, in addition to the training challenges highlighted 
by UPS, under the current rule a ``mixed fleet'' would result in the 
added complexity of peer-to-peer trainers being responsible for 
training both AOBRD and ELD systems.
    Unlike UPS, YRCW's operating companies currently utilize paper 
logs. As such, the adoption of electronic logs is the single largest 
change in recording record of duty status in decades. Many of our 
drivers are long-tenured and may face challenges in adopting a new 
system. Since operational flexibility does not allow a driver to be 
assigned a tractor, a `mixed fleet'' scenario forces drivers to be 
trained to use both AOBRD and ELD systems and introduce more 
complexity, errors, and challenges for all stakeholders.

    Based on the above, for YRCW operating companies who plan to 
operate AOBRDs past December 18, 2017, YRCW requests an exemption from 
section 395(a)(1)(i) to allow the installation of AOBRDs on new truck 
tractors delivered to a facility after the December 18, 2017, 
compliance date, where existing vehicles at that facility are equipped 
with compliant AOBRDs.

Recording of ELD Data Elements

    An ELD is required to automatically record a number of specific 
data elements at certain events, to include (1) when a driver indicates 
a change of duty status under section 395.24(b) (see section 
395.26(c)), and (2) when an authorized user logs into or out of an ELD 
(see section 395.26(g)).
    In support of its application, YRCW states:

    Similar to UPS, all drivers at YRC Freight, Holland and New Penn 
and a portion of drivers at Reddaway are covered by collective 
bargaining agreements. Almost all drivers clock in through an 
electronic system when they begin their day. Once clocked in they 
are required to perform non-driving duties as defined by collective 
bargaining agreements and company policies. As such, YRCW requests 
the same exemption as stated by UPS in Docket 2017-0054 on behalf of 
its operating companies.

    Based on the above, YRCW requests an exemption from the requirement 
to record the specific data elements identified in sections 395.26(c) 
and

[[Page 43819]]

395.26(g) if the driver is not in the vehicle when (1) the driver 
indicates a change of duty status, or (2) an authorized user logs into 
or out of an ELD, respectively. Instead, to assure accurate recording 
of on-duty, not driving time, YRCW proposes that it will 
``systematically annotate that the driver was performing other work.'' 
YRCW believes that the proposed exemption ``will have no impact on the 
recordation of driving time'' as all required vehicle data will be 
recorded when the driver is in the vehicle, and ``the tractor data that 
would not be recorded when the driver is not in the vehicle is not 
relevant to assessing the accurate recordation of `on-duty, not 
driving' time.''

Special Driving Mode for Yard Moves

    Section 395.28(a) of the FMCSRs permits a motor carrier to 
configure an ELD to authorize a driver to indicate that the driver is 
operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) under certain special 
driving categories, including (1) authorized personal use, and (2) and 
yard moves. Section 395.28(a)(2) requires a driver to select the 
applicable special driving category on the ELD before the start of the 
status, and to deselect it when the indicated status ends.
    In support of its application, YRCW states:

    Like UPS, almost all drivers for YRCW operating companies are 
covered by a collective bargaining agreement which sets out a 
contractual agreement that specifies which categories of drivers may 
perform certain driving duties such as coupling, uncoupling and 
moving equipment around company yards. The ability to select a 
``yard move'' status will eliminate multiple unnecessary entries. 
Like UPS, the facilities of YRCW's operating companies maintain 
posted speed and will be ``geo-fenced.'' YRCW proposes that driving 
status should be activated once a vehicle reaches 20mph or above 
and/or exits the facility. In addition to making drivers more 
efficient, allowing the ``yard move'' status eliminates driver 
distractions and enables them to focus on safely operating vehicles 
in the yard.

    Based on the above, YRCW requests an exemption from section 
395.28(a)(2)(i) to allow its drivers to select ``yard move'' status and 
remain in that status even if the vehicle's ignition is cycled off and 
back on. Under the proposed temporary exemption, and assuming that the 
driver does not go off duty after performing the yard moves, YRCW 
states that the ELD would switch to a ``driving'' duty status under 
section 395.24 if (1) the driver inputs ``driving,'' (2) the vehicle 
exceeds 20 mph, or (3) the vehicle exits the geo-fenced yard.

Vehicle Use by Exempt Employees Operating on UPS Property

    Section 395.26(h) of the FMCSRs requires an ELD to automatically 
record certain data elements when a CMV's engine is powered up or 
powered down.
    In support of its application, YRCW states:

    YRCW operating companies have exempt employees, without 
commercial driver's licenses, who move vehicles within our company 
yards for various purposes, including fueling, washing and 
maintenance. Vehicles will not be equipped with permanently attached 
ELD or AOBRD systems, nor will these drivers be assigned portable 
devices. As a result, exempt individuals will not have the ability 
to input data into an AOBRD or ELD device. As with UPS, these trips 
are under one mile and move less than 20mph on company property. 
Based on our similar operational practices and needs, YRCW companies 
requests the same exemption as requested by UPS, with the 
understanding that movements in the yard will not be limited to 
washing and fueling.

    Based on the above, YRCW requests an exemption from section 395.26, 
and proposes to allow an alternative approach to track vehicle usage by 
certain yard employees on YRCW property. Specifically, YRCW proposes 
that vehicle usage of less than 1 mile by these exempt employees, 
conducted entirely on YRCW property, be annotated on an ELD as ``on 
property--other.'' YRCW states that these miles could be easily 
identified using geo-fencing and time-card information for road drivers 
and other employees.
    As noted in its application, YRCW believes that each of the 
requested exemptions will result in substantial operational 
efficiencies, and will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent 
to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the 
exemptions.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on YRCW's application for an 
exemption from 49 CFR part 395. All comments received before the close 
of business on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of 
this notice will be considered and will be available for examination in 
the docket at the location listed under the ``Addresses'' section of 
this notice. Comments received after the comment closing date will be 
filed in the public docket and will be considered to the extent 
practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to 
file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available 
after the comment closing date. Interested persons should continue to 
examine the public docket for new material.

    Issued on: September 12, 2017.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-19909 Filed 9-18-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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