Just days before the electronic logging device mandate kicks in, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has officially issued a 90-day temporary waiver of the rule to carriers of agricultural commodities and livestock.
The agency had announced only weeks before that it intended to grant the waiver, which will be in effect from Dec. 18 until March 18, 2018.
It should be well noted that drivers running under the waiver must have a copy of the waiver notice with them available for inspectors to review.
Another specific condition attached is that carriers making use of the waiver must have a “satisfactory” safety rating from FMCSA or be unrated. Carriers that have “conditional or “unsatisfactory” ratings are prohibited from taking advantage of the waiver.
Also, carriers using the waiver must notify FMCSA within five business days if they are involved in a crash and provide details to the agency.
FMCSA said it was granting the waiver so that the agency can gain time, including via the public comment process, to consider how to better address the concerns of ag and livestock haulers about operating under the new rule.
Specifically, the agency said it wants to consider “certain exemption applications from segments of the agricultural industry concerning the use of ELDs to document drivers' hours of service and clarify applicability of the requirements and the need for certain carriers to begin using ELDs” by the original industry-wide deadline.
The agency is expected to publish an official notice of the waiver announcement in the Federal Register in the coming days.