On September 16, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a Request for comment on its Electronic Registration Device (ELD) Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Regulations (87 federal registry (FR) 56921). In a pre-announcement of the proposed regulations, the agency announced it is considering changes to the applicability for pre-2000 engines, addressing ELD failures, the process for removing ELDs from the agency’s list of approved devices, technical specifications and ELD certification.
Responses are expected on November 15.
ELDs help ensure drivers and motor carriers comply with the agency’s hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. The HOS regulations limit the number of hours a CMV driver may drive. The regulations also limit the maximum number of driver waiting hours in a period of 7 or 8 days.
The FMCSA is seeking input on whether the agency should re-evaluate or change the applicability of ELD regulations for rebuilt or remanufactured CMV engines; many pre-2000 and rebuilt pre-2000 engines have engine control modules (ECMs) installed that are compatible with an ELD.
FMCSA enforcement personnel must be able to view a driver’s paper logs when an ELD is not recording a driver’s hours, so current regulations require drivers to switch to paper logs for their service status recording (RODS) when an ELD is not working properly. However, an ELD can break down, but continue to record a driver’s driving hours. The FMCSA asked whether the agency should clarify when a driver should switch to paper logbooks.
The agency raised several questions about the removal of an ELD from the list of approved devices:
- If an ELD provider goes bankrupt and does not revoke its device listing itself, should the FMCSA be able to immediately remove the device from the ELD registered list?
- Should the FMCSA require ELD providers to update their list within 30 calendar days of a change in their registration information?
- Should ELD providers be required to confirm their data annually?
- Should a provider’s ELD be removed from the FMCSA list if it does not confirm or update its listing annually?
- An ELD provider will be given 60 days from the agency’s written notice of proposed removal to confirm the proposed removal. Should the agency shorten the 60-day period to 30 days to allow for faster removal of an ELD listing?
- Should the FMCSA consider other factors associated with a carrier’s continued use of a device that has been removed from the FMCSA list due to changes in a carrier’s status, such as bankruptcy or failure to file a registration update?
The FMCSA also had a number of questions about the ELD’s technical specifications, such as:
- Would ELD providers in their output file and registration
version numbers of the individual parts of the ELD, such as the version
number of the software running on the graphical user interface/tablet, the firmware running on the gateway/black box and the version number of the back office software?
- What would be the impact of including the following data elements on each recorded event: actual odometer, actual engine hours, location description, geolocation, VIN, drive unit, shipping document number, trailer number, driver, co-driver if there was one, and which co-driver was driving that moment?
- Should intermediate shots be made more frequently on the quarter, half hour, three quarters, and hour, and if not, what would be a reasonable frequency to require intermediate shots?
- Drivers often fail to enter a new shift status before disabling the ELD, leaving the driver in the driving status. Should the ELD automatically log a no-drive event after registering an engine shutdown?
- Should the FMCSA consider allowing a driver, rather than the railcar, to change his or her ELD configuration to an exempt status in order to reduce the administrative burden noted by the industry?
- Should the FMCSA consider adding an exception to the regulation that does not require a driver to re-enter the farmyard movement status every time the tractor is turned off?
The agency also asked stakeholders whether it should establish an ELD certification process, what such a process would consist of, and how the FMCSA should treat existing devices.