FMCSA Announces ELD Waiver for Transporters of Agricultural Commodities and Offers Additional Transition Guidance

ELD waiver

When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs) be used in place of paper logbooks for Hours of Service (HOS) tracking, fleet managers were plagued with the task of researching the best ELDs to implement. The mandate also posed some unforeseen challenges for those working in the agriculture industry, responsible for safely transporting livestock. But have no fear, the FMCSA is here to help and has given an extension to find the right ELD device for your fleet.

The FMCSA has announced they will be taking additional steps to address the unique needs of the nation’s agriculture industries, which includes an additional 90-day waiver from the ELD mandate solely for transport related to agriculture. 

In addition, the FMCSA will use this extended time to publish guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance, and continue its outreach to provide assistance to the agricultural industry and community regarding the ELD rule.

Since the mandate was officially implemented in December 2017, roadside compliance with HOS record-keeping requirements has been steadily increasing, with roadside compliance reaching an impressive high of 96% in the most recent available data.

Starting April 1, the FMCSA will fully enforce violations with those that are out of compliance with the ELD mandate, including placing those without an ELD out-of-service. In addition, the driver will remain out-of-service for ten hours in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) criteria. Once that time has passed, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop to facilitate compliance, and should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action—not a legal battle you want to face.

The FMCSA is committed to continuing the ongoing dialogue on these issues, and FleetUp also remains a great resource for questions regarding the ELD mandate and advancing the fleet management industry – maintaining the safety and efficiency of fleet operations, and providing assistance and reliable ELD technology as the mandate comes into full effect.

The waiver and additional guidance will be published in the Federal Register. Check out the full press release here.

For more information on ELDs please visit: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/eld