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Today’s Pickup: OOIDA requests ELD delay for small trucking companies

( Photo: Shutterstock )

Good day,

Following on the heels of a 90-day waiver from the ELD rule for agriculture haulers, and several other exemptions granted by FMCSA in recent months, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has submitted a new exemption request to the agency.

OOIDA is asking FMCSA to exempt small trucking businesses from the rule for a period of at least 5 years.
“Small-business truckers that have already proven their ability to operate safely should not be subject to purchasing costly, unproven and uncertified devices,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.
OOIDA has requested at least a 5-year exemption for motor carriers classified as small businesses according to the Small Business Administration. Carriers would have to have a proven safety history with no attributable at-fault crashes, and who do not have a Carrier Safety Rating of “Unsatisfactory,” OOIDA said.

OOIDA argued in the request that the self-certification process places a burden on small carriers. The FMCSA has acknowledged that it cannot guarantee devices on the list meet the rules requirements. The agency has said devices found not compliant would be handled on case-by-case basis.

“Most small-business motor carriers can ill afford to make these purchases only to learn later that the ELD is non-compliant.  Yet they are required to do so or risk violation,” said Spencer.

OOIDA also listed concerns over cybersecurity and the protection of data. A five-year exemption would provide time for ELD manufacturers to be fully vetted by FMCSA, OOIDA said, and prevent carriers from purchasing a device that gives thieves access to vehicle, company or personal data.

Did you know?

U.S. trailer production rose 1% month-over-month in October and is up 1% year-over-year, according to ACT Research. There were 25,700 trailer units built in October.


“Continued improvement in truck tonnage reflects a much stronger freight market. This strength is the result of several factors, including consumption, factory output, construction and improved inventory levels throughout the supply chain. Additionally, the 6.7% rise in tonnage over the last four months suggests to me that retailers are expecting a good holiday spending season.”

Bob Costello, ATA chief economist

In other news:

Truck tonnage up 10% year-over-year

U.S. for-hire truck tonnage climbed 3.3% in October over September and is up 9.9% year-over-year, according to data from the American Trucking Associations. (

Transport stocks slipping

The Dow Jones Transportation Average is having a rough quarter with index expected to post its first quarterly decline since last year with stocks down 3% so far. (Wall Street Journal)

NAFTA talks stuck in neutral

Talks between the U.S., Canada and Mexico to revise NAFTA have made little headway as the U.S. accuses the other countries of not engaging seriously in talks. (Reuters)

Infrastructure bill still possible

Talk on Capitol Hill among policymakers is that an infrastructure bill may soon follow tax reform once it passes, even if the White House has yet to forward a proposal. (Transport Topics)

Mileage-based user fee test coming along East Coast

The I-95 Corridor Coalition will be testing a mileage-based user fee system next year along parts of the East Coast with the help of technology provider ERoad. (Fleet Owner)

Final Thoughts

Truck tonnage in October was up nearly 10% year-over-year according to ATA, which cited a number of factors including beefing up of inventories for the holiday season. If in-store holiday sales are not as robust as expected and stores are left with excess inventory come January, we could see a slowdown in tonnage early next year.

Hammer down everyone!

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One Comment

  1. OOIDA has always been on the front fighting for O/Os and small carriers. They fought the circuit courts ruling against the ELD mandate all the way to the Supreme Court but unfortunately the Supreme Court refused to hear the case sending it back to the circuit where the ruling in favor of the mandate now stands. The regulations mandated by FMCSA recently have all been rushed to implementation without due process of consideration of costs or effects on safe small carriers who are caught between the ATA and other lobbyists and the mega carriers seeking to eliminate competition and tilt the competitive advantages in their favor. Problem is most small carriers and O/Os remain passively involved until these mandates get finalized which makes the effort to put a halt to implementation that much harder. Almost all of these onerous regulations not the least of which are the new medical requirements, are going to increase costs for trucking across the board which of course puts the mega carriers at an advantage and those costs will most certainly find their way eventually to the consumers pocket. All of this combined will put autonomous trucks and technology along with innovations to replace drivers on a fast track and in the meantime there will be a push to import more foreign workers to fill empty seats and reduce costs. Might be a good reason why BNSF is a Warren Buffet indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire.

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand 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. You can reach him at