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

(Photo: Shutterstock)

(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.

Quotable:

“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. (Trucknews.com)

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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