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NewsTechnologyTrucking

Trimble requests extension to FMCSA repair mandate

The request comes as the company struggles to update PeopleNet devices that malfunctioned over the New Year.

Logistics company Trimble Transportation (NASDAQ: TRMB) has requested an extension to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) eight-day electronic logging device (ELD) repair requirement, as the company struggles to update devices that malfunctioned when 2020 arrived.

“Driver connectivity is our top priority, and we recognize the impact that this issue has caused to our customers and their drivers,” Trimble spokesperson Lea Ann McNabb told FreightWaves in an email.

On Jan. 1, drivers and carriers started reporting widespread problems with PeopleNet ELDs. (PeopleNet is a Trimble company.) Among the complaints were a higher-than-usual number of outages, along with sluggish login times and other system malfunctions.

The problems were eventually traced to the new calendar year, which caused a disconnect between the systems’ GPS and server clocks. The clocks did not sync, putting the devices into a continuous reboot.

The FMCSA’s ELD mandate requires a motor carrier to repair or replace a malfunctioning device “within eight days of discovery of the condition or a driver’s notification to the carrier, whichever occurs first,” according to the agency’s website.

A motor carrier may file an ELD malfunction extension request via email, to include the date  and location of each ELD malfunction and “a concise statement describing actions taken by the motor carrier to make a good faith effort to repair, replace, or service the ELD units.”

McNabb said Timble’s request for an extension is to “ensure that customers have the flexibility to update devices in a way that best fits their operational needs.” The extension would also allow drivers to continue using paper logs while the fixes are underway.

The company “continues to work closely” with customers to implement software updates that restore connectivity, McNabb said, and is “committed to updating the remaining impacted g3 devices in a timely and complete manner.”

The FMCSA did not immediately respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to lbaker@freightwaves.com.

16 Comments

  1. I read all these comments about Trump doing this and Trump doing that but the real problem is with the federal motor carriers association they have too much power then they go to these universities who do all this study about how the trucking industry should work this safety factor that safety factor and haven’t got a clue what they are talking about I need to go to the number one University the drivers and the drivers need to speak up I had been a trend of tremendous amount of trucking companies going out of business a lot of it was mismanagement a lot of it was over regulation by our federal government I don’t disagree that we don’t need regulation we always need to be regulated but if something doesn’t happen pretty quick this nation is in serious trouble because this country cannot survive without the transportation that we provide.

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