March 2018

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

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34 | Overdrive | March 2018 C ome April 1, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's out-of-service cri- teria related to the electronic logging device mandate go into effect. Inspectors will be able to put an opera- tor out of service for not having an ELD if he or she is required to adhere to the mandate. However, enforcement in the pre- April 1 transition period hasn't been as simple or as uniform as it might sound. Starting April 1, the regulatory code associated with a violation written to a carrier not running an ELD when required will be 49 Code of Federal Regulations 395.8(a). It's the same viola- tion that's commonly issued when an inspection reveals a driver not keeping a log book when required. In the month preceding the man- date's Dec. 18 enforcement inception, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration asked states to code such a violation under a different section, 49 CFR 395.22(a), says Capt. Chris Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol, CVSA's current president. That regulation speci- fies that drivers subject to the mandate must use a device on FMCSA's ELD registry of devices. The reason the agency asked for this procedure was so that it could reliably exclude ELD mandate violations from carriers' Safety Measurement System scores in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability system. The rationale was that the softer approach was justi- fied given the burgeoning market for ELDs and challenges and exemptions to the mandate having run well into last year. Also, there was a lag in officer and driver training on how to use and/or examine the devices. The three-and-a-half month transi- tion period, industry watchers felt, might give regulators and those regulated extra time to get adjusted before out-of-service enforcement kicked into gear. Excluding the serious 395.8(a) violations wasn't fea- sible, as that would give drivers running without any form of logs a pass entirely in CSA SMS tracking. There's evidence, however, that not all inspectors and states have granted FMCSA's request related to violation coding. Violations of 395.8(a) jumped significantly during week 1 of the mandate and were on average elevated during the brief period following Dec. 18, for which near-complete report- ing existed at press time, even with the holiday period's decreased trucking and enforcement activity in play. Asked if there's any discussion within CVSA or from the federal government of an extension of the current "soft enforcement" period, CSVA Executive Director Collin Mooney says, "None whatsoever. We feel we've aided in the implementation process, and that's it. We're disappointed with some segments of the industry that have taken the view that April 1 is the new implementation date" and not what it is — the beginning Small-fleet owner-operator Lee Epling (pictured) was disap- pointed that his leased owner-operator Robert Whittington was effectively treated as nonexempt regarding the ELD mandate during a post-Dec. 18 inspection. Even though Whittington's Freightliner Century Class is a 2001 model, its Detroit Series 60 is dated 1995 as evidenced by a stamped plate under the hood and therefore exempt. THE SHIFT THE SHIFT VIOLATIONS Courtesy of Lee Epling Not so calm before the ELD storm Results of the ELD "soft enforcement" period have proved less than gentle for some owner-operators. There's also evidence of other unresolved issues as the gate opens April 1 for issuing out-of-service orders. BY TODD DILLS

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