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Hours of Service; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver; Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc.

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American Government Trucking Topics:  Truck Renting and Leasing Association

Hours of Service; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver; Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc.

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


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 13 (Friday, January 19, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2868-2869]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00843]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0428]


Hours of Service; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day 
Waiver; Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc.

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

ACTION: Notice; grant of waiver.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA grants a limited 3-month waiver from the Federal hours-
of-service (HOS) requirements for electronic logging devices (ELDs) to 
motor carriers and drivers operating property-carrying commercial motor 
vehicles (CMVs) that are rented for a period not exceeding 30 days. The 
Agency takes this action in response to a waiver request from the Truck 
Renting and Leasing Association, Inc. (TRALA). The Agency has 
determined that granting this waiver 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.

DATES: This waiver is effective January 19, 2018, through April 19, 
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: 

Legal Basis

    The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) (Pub. 
L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, sec. 4007(a) 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 prior notice or request for public comment.
    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, subchapters I and III, relating to commercial motor 
vehicle programs and safety regulations.

Background

    TRALA is a national trade association representing companies that 
engage in commercial truck renting and leasing as well as consumer 
truck rentals. Its membership encompasses major independent firms such 
as Ryder System, Penske Truck Leasing, U-Haul, Budget, and Enterprise 
Truck Rental, as well as small and medium-size businesses that 
generally participate as members of four leasing group systems: 
Idealease, NationaLease, PACCAR Leasing company, and Mack Leasing 
System-Volvo Truck Leasing. In total, its nearly 500 member companies 
operate more than 5,000 commercial leasing and rental locations, and 
more than 20,000 consumer rental locations throughout the United 
States, Mexico, and Canada. ``Renting'' is a term of art in the vehicle 
leasing industry, generally meaning a transaction granting the 
exclusive use of a vehicle for 30 days or less, whereas a lease 
generally means a transaction granting the exclusive use of a vehicle 
for more than 30 days.
    In November 2016, TRALA submitted a petition requesting a 5-year 
exemption on behalf of operators of property-carrying commercial motor 
vehicles rented for 30 days or fewer from the requirement that motor 
carriers whose drivers are required to keep records of duty status 
(RODS) under the HOS rules generally must employ ELDs beginning 
December 18, 2017, in lieu of paper logs, pursuant to an FMCSA rule 
published December 16, 2015 (80 FR 78292). While TRALA stated that it 
supported the ELD mandate, it was concerned about unintended technical 
and operational consequences that would unfairly and adversely affect 
short-term rental vehicles, namely, lack of interoperability between 
the motor carrier's ELD technology and the rental company's platform, 
potentially precluding data transfer between the two systems. TRALA 
also raised concerns about data liability, particularly if the rental 
companies needed to bear the burden of safeguarding data on behalf of 
the motor carrier.
    In accordance with 49 CFR 381.315, FMCSA sought public comment on 
TRALA's exemption request (82 FR 14789 (Mar. 22, 2017)). FMCSA 
evaluated TRALA's application and the public comments and granted a 
limited exception, subject to specified terms and conditions, but only 
for rentals not exceeding 8 days (82 FR 47306 (Oct. 11, 2017)).

Waiver Request

    After FMCSA granted TRALA's exemption in part, TRALA filed a 
request for a 90-day waiver from the ELD requirement for truck rentals 
not exceeding 30 days. TRALA indicated that a 90-day waiver would allow 
rental companies and their customers ``critical additional time to 
develop compliance strategies'' to address ``unique issues relating to 
the use of ELDs in short-term rental vehicles'' and allow time for

[[Page 2869]]

TRALA to consider whether to petition for reconsideration of FMCSA's 
action on its exemption.
    TRALA described unique challenges faced by operators of short-term 
rentals, namely the lack of interoperability between ELD device 
platforms, a situation that requires rental companies to address how 
their customers' drivers might record their HOS using ELDs as 
efficiently as possible. TRALA described several steps its members have 
taken since FMCSA's October 11, 2017, decision granting a partial 
exemption for rental trucks, including building cloud-based portal 
systems between ELD providers and purchasers of ELDs. Nevertheless, 
TRALA states that additional time is required and that a 90-day waiver 
would allow its members to continue working through the issues 
presented by the required technology and the need for individual 
customer-based compliance strategies.
    TRALA stated that the waiver would not result in any adverse impact 
on safety as drivers of rental vehicles would remain subject to HOS 
regulations and the requirement to keep paper records of duty status 
under 49 CFR 395.3 and 395.8. Furthermore, TRALA stated that planned 
enforcement activities would not be compromised, given the decision 
that CMVs will not be placed out-of-service and carriers' Safety 
Measurement System scores will not be impacted for failure to employ 
ELDs through April 1, 2018.
    Finally, TRALA explained why the waiver would not serve as a safe 
harbor for carriers seeking to avoid compliance with the HOS 
regulations, given the increased cost of operating under short-term 
rental arrangements.

FMCSA Determination

    Given the obstacles to ELD implementation unique to short-term CMV 
rentals and the impact on carriers renting trucks for a period not 
exceeding 30 days, FMCSA finds it is in the public interest to grant a 
limited 3-month waiver from the requirement that carriers and drivers 
operating rental CMVs in interstate commerce employ ELDs effective 
December 18, 2017. This waiver will avoid business disruptions for 
carriers required to employ short-term rentals, regardless of the 
reason, and allow businesses renting CMVs to continue their work to 
reconcile the ELD requirement with the needs of their individual 
customers. Given the brief time frame during which the waiver will be 
in effect and the terms and conditions applicable to drivers operating 
under its provisions, FMCSA finds that a level of safety is likely to 
be achieved that is equivalent to the level that would be obtained 
absent the waiver. Because this waiver applies to all short-term truck 
rentals not exceeding 30 days, during a time period both the previous 
exemption and this waiver are in effect, this waiver supersedes the 
exemption granted to TRALA on October 11, 2017 (82 FR 47306) to the 
extent there is any inconsistency.

Terms and Conditions of the Waiver

    (1) This waiver from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1)(i) is 
effective from January 19, 2018, through April 19, 2018.
    (2) This exemption covers rental of any property-carrying CMV for a 
period of 30 days or less, regardless of the reason for the rental. 
Evidence that a carrier has replaced one rental CMV with another on 30-
day cycles or attempted to renew a rental agreement for the same CMV 
for a period beyond 30 days will be regarded as a violation of the 
waiver.
    (3) Carriers and drivers operating under this waiver must comply 
with all other applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations, including the preparation of paper records of duty 
status (RODS) for operations which are currently considered to be 
subject to the HOS rules and the record retention requirements 
associated with those RODs and supporting documents.
    (4) Motor carriers operating under this waiver must have a 
``satisfactory'' safety rating from FMCSA or be unrated; motor carriers 
with ``conditional'' or ``unsatisfactory'' safety ratings are 
prohibited from taking advantage of the waiver.
    (5) Carriers operating under this waiver must ensure that their 
drivers carry a copy of this Federal Register notice in the vehicle and 
present it to motor carrier safety enforcement officials upon request.
    (6) Crash Notification to FMCSA
    Carriers operating under this waiver must notify FMCSA within 5 
business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving 
any of the motor carrier's drivers operating under the terms of this 
waiver. The notification must include the following information:
    (a) Identity of Waiver: ``TRALA,''
    (b) Date of the accident,
    (c) City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or 
closest to the accident scene,
    (d) Driver's name and license number,
    (e) Co-driver's name and license number (if applicable),
    (f) Vehicle number and State license number,
    (g) Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
    (h) Number of fatalities,
    (i) The police-reported cause of the accident,
    (j) Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws 
or motor carrier safety regulations, and
    (k) The total driving time and total on-duty time period prior to 
the accident.
    Accident notifications must be emailed to MCPSD@dot.gov.
    (7) FMCSA expects that any drivers and their employing motor 
carrier operating under the terms and conditions of this waiver will 
maintain their safety record. Should any safety problems be discovered, 
however, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public 
interest. Use of this waiver is voluntary, and FMCSA will immediately 
revoke the waiver for any interstate driver or motor carrier for 
failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the waiver.

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 12, 2018.
Cathy F. Gautreaux,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-00843 Filed 1-18-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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