J.J. Keller expects ELD fixes to be in place before end of month

If it seems as though electronic logging device (ELD) exemptions have been plentiful in 2018, it’s because they have been. For a rule that the majority of the industry was expected to comply with, several segments of the industry are now exempt – at least temporarily.

The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) secured an exemption for all commercial rental vehicles from the ELD rule for drivers using a “property carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) rented for 8 days or less.” A similar exemption, although temporary, was granted for rental vehicles up to 30 days. That expires on April 1. The agriculture industry is seeking an exemption and several fleets have been granted exemptions, including UPS, from various provisions of the rule. Even the Motion Picture Association of America received an exemption.

In the last few weeks, there was an exemption granted to Old Dominion due to issues it was having with software integrating in moving from a PeopleNet AOBRD system to a new ELD system. FMCSA, in granting the exemption, invited other fleets to apply for the same exemption if they were suffering similar problems. PeopleNet is working on a fix.

Related: Read FreightWaves’ coverage of the ELD transition

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has requested businesses with less than $27.5 million in annual revenue and have a documented history of safe operation be exempt from the rule. Avery Vise, vice president of trucking research for FTR, said on the firm’s last State of Freight webinar that the exemption would cover 95% of the industry from a financial standpoint, and 93% of one-truck operations have had no DOT-recordable crash in the past two years.

That request is still outstanding, and while Vise doesn’t expect it to succeed, it does have the support of 25 different members of Congress.

The latest exemption was granted this past week to certain users of J.J. Keller devices. FMCSA granted an exemption for users of eight J.J. Keller ELD devices until Feb. 28, 2018. Those devices are:

  • Geotab GO7-J.J. Keller Android BYOD
  • Geotab GO7 – J.J. Keller Android Tablet
  • J.J. Keller ELD – Android BYOD 2.0
  • J.J. Keller ELD – Android Tablet 2.0
  • J.J. Keller ELD – iOS 2.0
  • J.J. Keller ELD – iOS 2.5
  • J.J. Keller ELD – Android BYOD 2.5
  • J.J. Keller ELD – Android Compliance Tablet 2.5

Drivers using one of these devices can use paper logs until Feb. 28, FMCSA said in a letter, until the “deficiencies identified in J.J. Keller’s corrective action plan are remedied.” Any driver utilizing paper logs must carry a copy of the FMCSA letter, which J.J. Keller sent out to all affected customers.

According to Susan Baranczyk, corporate communications specialist with J.J. Keller, the issue is with the transmission of ELD data via web and email communications with roadside enforcement agents.

“It’s a short-term issue and a glitch that needs to be fixed,” she tells FreightWaves. “We reached out to FMCSA last week and wanted to be transparent.”

Baranczyk said the fix will be a software update that will need to be downloaded when ready.

In a letter to customers, J.J. Keller Executive Vice President & COO Rustin Keller apologized to customers “for any frustration this may have caused you and your drivers” and noted that the company would follow up with customers at the end of the month to ensure the ELD products are operating properly. He also said an initial update was made available on Feb. 12 to enable data transfer by web and it appeared to work successfully and the company remains “confident the remaining issues will be resolved by the end of February.”

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.