Twenty-five lawmakers ask FMCSA to support ELD exemption for safe small business truckers

Yesterday twenty-five members of Congress sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) asking the agency to support an Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) sponsored ELD exemption request for small business truckers. Babin, Others, Ask FMCSA For Relief From ELD Mandate For Small Time Truckers The lawmakers, spearheaded by Rep. Brian Babin, are asking the FMCSA to approve of an ELD exemption request put forth by OOIDA for “at least a 5-year exemption for motor carriers classified as small businesses according to the Small Business Administration and with a proven safety history with no attributable at-fault crashes, and who do not have a Carrier Safety Rating of “Unsatisfactory.” ”In a Facebook post, Babin wrote, “For the last six months, I have led the effort in Washington to try and delay the implementation of this mandate, and it has been my honor to fight for independent truck drivers in Texas and across our great country. Unfortunately, with the mandate now in effect, the only realistic option for relief is through a waiver issued by the FMCSA. So while I continue to believe in and fight for a waiver for all American truckers, I am proud to support this exemption request for small business trucking fleets. I sincerely hope that FMCSA will listen to our request and prevent this mandate from causing any more harm to the small business truckers who help make America work.“ OOIDA issued a press release thanking Babin and the other lawmakers for their efforts to support the small business ELD exemption. OOIDA’s acting President Todd Spencer wrote “We thank the representatives, especially Congressmen Babin and King, for recognizing that small-business truckers that have already proven their ability to operate safely should not be subject to purchasing costly, unproven and uncertified devices.” You can read the letter in full below: February 1, 2018: The Honorable Cathy F. Gautreaux, Deputy Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590 Re: FMCSA 2017-0356, Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. Dear Deputy Administrator Gautreaux: The best course of action with regards to the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is still to issue a 90-day relief period for all sectors of the trucking industry as your agency continues to examine and adjudicate the numerous applications for exemptions and waivers. We write to you in support of one of those applications today: the ELD exemption of small trucking businesses with exemplary safety records. We encourage the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to grant this application submitted by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which would provide reasonable relief from the costly and burdensome regulation for many of the trucking industry’s safest and most experienced drivers. OOIDA’s request is responsibly constructed to ensure only motor carriers defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a small-trucking business would qualify for relief from the $2 billion mandate. Additionally, the application stipulates that only motor carriers with a record of no at-fault crashes would be exempted and those with an ‘Unsatisfactory’ safety rating from FMCSA would not be eligible. By sustaining impeccable safety records, the motor carriers that would qualify have already demonstrated the use of an ELD will do nothing to improve their operations. Furthermore, OOIDA’s request would prevent small trucking businesses, who operate on the slimmest of margins, from maintaining costly fleet management devices that provide them no economic or productivity benefits. FMCSA has already granted several requests for exemption from the ELD mandate. Clearly, the agency is capable and willing to provide relief for industries who have demonstrated that exemptions will not decrease safety. In this regard, OOIDA’s application for exemption is unquestionably consistent with those previously granted and merits the agency’s approval. We believe this request is also wholly consistent with the Trump Administration’s goal of providing relief from costly and burdensome federal regulations to American small businesses. Granting OOIDA’s request would further illustrate the administration’s commitment to delivering regulatory relief that will help sustain economic growth. Sincerely, U.S. REPRESENTATIVES: Brian Babin, D.D.S. (TX), Steve King (IA), John R. Moolenar (MI), David Young (IA), Sean Duffy (WI), Kevin Cramer (ND), Jason Smith (MO), Darin LaHood (IL), Adrian Smith (NE), Collin Peterson (MN), Ralph Norman (SC), Clay Higgins (LA), Austin Scott (GA), Scott Perry (PA), Neal P. Dunn, M.D. (FL), Thomas Massie (KY), Kristi L. Noem (SD), Jack Bergman (MI), Dave Brat (VA), Alexander X. Mooney (WV), Ted S. Yoho, D.V.M. (FL), Greg Gianforte (MT), David G. Valadao (CA), Bill Huizenga (MI) and Mike Kelly (PA).