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Hours of Service of Drivers; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver for Old Dominion and Other Motor Carriers Experiencing Problems Integrating PeopleNet ELD System Updates Into Their Fleet Management Systems

Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Old Dominion

Hours of Service of Drivers; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver for Old Dominion and Other Motor Carriers Experiencing Problems Integrating PeopleNet ELD System Updates Into Their Fleet Management Systems

Cathy F. Gautreaux
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
19 January 2018


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 13 (Friday, January 19, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2744-2746]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00842]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 395


Hours of Service of Drivers; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 
90-Day Waiver for Old Dominion and Other Motor Carriers Experiencing 
Problems Integrating PeopleNet ELD System Updates Into Their Fleet 
Management Systems

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

ACTION: Grant of waiver.

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[[Page 2745]]

SUMMARY: FMCSA grants a limited 90-day waiver from the Federal hours-
of-service (HOS) regulations pertaining to electronic logging devices 
(ELDs) for Old Dominion Freight Lines, Inc. (Old Dominion) and other 
motor carriers in similar situations due to issues concerning the 
integration of PeopleNet's ELD software into fleet management systems. 
The Agency has initiated this action in response to a waiver request 
from Old Dominion.

DATES: This waiver is effective December 18, 2017, and expires on March 
18, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas L. Yager, Chief, Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and 
Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. Phone: 
(614) 942-6477.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Old Dominion has asked for relief from the 
grandfather provision of the ELD regulations, allowing them to add 
vehicles to their fleet using software that is not fully compliant with 
the ELD rule, provided the conditions specified in the waiver are met. 
FMCSA has determined that granting this waiver to Old Dominion, as well 
as other similarly situated carriers, is in the public interest and 
will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to the level 
that would be achieved absent the waiver, based on the terms and 
conditions imposed in this document.

Legal Basis

    The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) (Pub. 
L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, June 9, 1998) provides the Secretary of 
Transportation (the Secretary) the authority to grant waivers from any 
of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations issued under Chapter 
313 of Title 49 of the United States Code or 49 U.S.C. 31136, to a 
person(s) seeking regulatory relief. (49 U.S.C. 31136(e), 31315(a)). 
The Secretary must make a determination that the waiver is in the 
public interest and that it is likely to achieve a level of safety that 
is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be 
obtained in the absence of the waiver. Individual waivers may be 
granted only for a specific unique, non-emergency event, for a period 
up to three months. TEA-21 authorizes the Secretary to grant waivers 
without requesting public comment, and without providing public notice.
    The Administrator of FMCSA has been delegated authority under 49 
CFR 1.87(e) to carry out the functions vested in the Secretary by 49 
U.S.C. chapter 311, subchapter I and III, relating to commercial motor 
vehicle programs and safety regulations.

Background

    Old Dominion began equipping its commercial motor vehicles with 
PeopleNet AOBRDs in 2010, and by 2011 its entire fleet was equipped 
with devices which meet the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15. Data from 
the AOBRDs is transferred directly into the company's fleet management 
and safety systems, enabling its dispatchers to know precisely where 
every driver is at any given time and how many hours he/she has 
available under the Federal hours-of-service rules. This functionality 
is not required by the AOBRD rules under 49 CFR 395.15 or the ELD 
requirements under Subpart B of 49 CFR part 395.
    Old Dominion explained that PeopleNet's AOBRD and ELD hardware 
currently installed in its vehicles, and the systems that will be 
installed in the near future, will satisfy the ELD mandate after the 
company implements the transition to PeopleNet's December 15, 2017, 
software release. However, the new PeopleNet release does not include 
the necessary means to integrate into Old Dominion's fleet management 
and safety software.
    Currently, the PeopleNet AOBRD software allows carriers to 
configure certain sessions. If the settings were not adjustable, the 
PeopleNet AOBRD would be similar to, but not identical to the FMCSA's 
ELD technical specifications. Although Old Dominion has configured its 
settings in the PeopleNet AOBRDs it uses, certain AOBRD software 
changes must be made by PeopleNet, including:
     Eliminating the ``skip'' feature;
     Limiting the auto-duty driving status change threshold to 
5 miles; and
     Limiting geo-fencing of yards to a 0.5-mile radius.
    When these changes are fully implemented, and the operational 
controls are in place, the PeopleNet system used by Old Dominion will 
provide an equivalent level of safety while the integration of the ELD 
software is completed.

Old Dominion's Request

    Old Dominion requested a 90-day waiver to permit the company to 
install and use ELD hours-of-service recording devices (i.e., hardware) 
running PeopleNet's automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) 
software that meets the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15, rather than ELD 
software that meets the requirements of subpart B to part 395, for any 
truck added to its fleet on or after December 18, 2017, until the 
company's fleet management software can be fully integrated with 
PeopleNet's ELD software. The integration of the hours-of-service data 
with the fleet management and safety systems will enable the company to 
achieve a high level of safety oversight of its drivers.

FMCSA Determination

    Based on the information presented in Old Dominion's request, FMCSA 
believes it is appropriate to grant a limited 90-day waiver from 49 CFR 
395.8(a)(1)(i) and subpart B of 49 CFR part 395, Electronic Logging 
Devices. The Agency has determined, as required by 49 U.S.C. 31315(a) 
and the implementing regulations under 49 CFR part 381, that the waiver 
is in the public interest and that the waiver is likely to achieve a 
level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of 
safety that would be obtained in the absence of the waiver.

Public Interest

    FMCSA believes the granting of the waiver is in the public 
interest, given the scope of Old Dominion's and other companies' 
operations and their role in delivering cargo that ultimately benefit 
consumers. In the case of Old Dominion, the company has 228 service 
centers located throughout the Nation and operates a fleet of more than 
8,500 power units. The company employs more than 10,000 company 
drivers. It is in the public interest to avoid disruptions to Old 
Dominion and other carriers' operations and, subsequently, a disruption 
to the movement of a significant amount of freight.

Safety Equivalency

    FMCSA has determined that the electronic system that Old Dominion 
will use to monitor its drivers' hours of service during the period of 
the waiver will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence 
of the waiver. The company will not only electronically capture the 
duty status information for all its drivers, it will also monitor the 
real-time status of its drivers' compliance with the hours-of-service 
regulations so that supervisors and dispatchers may intervene 
immediately if a driver is about to run out of driving or on-duty time.
    Also, with the AOBRD settings outlined in the waiver request, which 
exceed the minimum required by 49 CFR 395.15, and the commitment by 
PeopleNet to make associated software

[[Page 2746]]

changes in its ELD software to disable the ``skip feature,'' limit the 
auto-duty driving status change threshold to 5 miles or less, limit the 
geofencing of yard moves to a 0.5-mile radius or less, and maintaining 
the Auto-Duty Status Change functions outlined in its petition, we 
believe the requisite level of safety will be provided during the 
waiver period. In addition, Old Dominion will continue to compel its 
short haul drivers that are not required to maintain records of duty 
status to use the existing AOBRD platform.

Unique Circumstances

    Consistent with the statutory requirements for waivers, this relief 
is for a period not in excess of 3 months and is limited in scope and 
circumstances. FMCSA finds that the challenges Old Dominion described 
in achieving compliance with the ELD requirements while integrating the 
PeopleNet ELD software into existing fleet management systems is a 
unique situation for Old Dominion and other carriers facing similar 
challenges integrating PeopleNet software into their fleet management 
systems.
    For the reasons cited above, FMCSA grants Old Dominion, and other 
motor carriers facing similar challenges integrating PeopleNet ELD 
software into fleet management systems, a limited three-month waiver 
from the ELD requirements, subject to the terms and conditions provided 
below.

Terms and Conditions of the Waiver

    This waiver covers Old Dominion Inc. and other motor carriers 
experiencing similar challenges resulting from PeopleNet's software for 
the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. (ET) on December 18, 2017, 
continuing through 11:59 p.m. on March 18, 2018.

Regulatory Provisions Waived

    This waiver is limited strictly to 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1)(i) and 
subpart B of 49 CFR part 395, Electronic Logging Devices. Old Dominion 
and other motor carriers with similar situations related to PeopleNet's 
recent software release, must comply with all other applicable 
provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) (49 
CFR 350-399).

Restrictions

    Each motor carrier operating under this waiver must ensure that 
drivers required to maintain a record of duty status (ROD) must do so 
with a device that meets the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15 concerning 
automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs):
    1. During the waiver period, vehicles may be added to the fleet 
only if the vehicle is equipped with ELD hardware, capable of running 
the PeopleNet ELD Software.
    2. The AOBRD must transfer data directly into the motor carrier's 
fleet management and safety systems, allowing its dispatchers to know 
precisely where the drivers are at any given time and how many hours 
he/she has available under the Federal hours-of-service rules.
    3. The motor carrier will use the AOBRD settings similar to those 
outlined in Old Dominion's waiver request.
    4. PeopleNet system must be modified to disable or adjust the 
settings as outlined below.
    a. Eliminate the ``skip feature'';
    b. Limit the auto-duty driving status change threshold to 5 miles 
or less; and
    c. Limit the geo-fencing yard time limit to a 0.5-mile radius or 
less.
    If it is determined that this software has not been changed, this 
waiver does not apply.

Notification to FMCSA of Accidents

    Each motor carrier must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of an 
accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any commercial motor 
vehicles operating under the terms of this waiver. The notification 
must include the following information:
     Date of the accident,
     City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, 
or closest to the accident scene,
     Driver's name and license number,
     Vehicle number and State license number,
     Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
     Number of fatalities,
     The police-reported cause of the accident, and
     Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic 
laws, or motor carrier safety regulations.
    Notification shall be by email to MCPSD@DOT.GOV.

Preemption of State Requirements

    Consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), this waiver preempts 
inconsistent State or local requirements applicable to interstate 
commerce.

    Issued on: January 11, 2018.
 Cathy F. Gautreaux,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-00842 Filed 1-18-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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