PeopleNet has issued an advisory on the need for an AOBRD waiver of the ELD rule for its customers. Photo: PeopleNet

PeopleNet has issued an advisory on the need for an AOBRD waiver of the ELD rule for its customers. Photo: PeopleNet

With the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration having granted a waiver that gives PeopleNet customers that integrate existing AOBRDs with fleet management and safety systems until March 18 to continue installing ELD-compatible devices running AOBRD software, the supplier has put together material to help address the need for the waiver.

Last month, FMCSA issued a 90-day exemption to ODFL and other PeopleNet customers to address a portion of the ELD rule’s grandfather clause, which states that if a fleet adds any trucks between now and 2019, they must use an ELD, not an AOBRD. That short-term exemption gives affected fleets until March 18, 2018 to integrate their existing AOBRDs to fleet management and safety systems. 

FMCSA is now considering a request by one motor carrier for a one-year exemption from the electronic logging rule so that PeopleNet can provide a specific type of software as having been made “on behalf of all motor carriers in similar situations concerning the integration of PeopleNet’s ELD software into fleet management systems.”

Click here for our story on the one-year PeopleNet exemption

“We stand behind our customers, and the limited three-month [ELD rule] waiver allows a more flexible, seamless transition from AOBRD to ELD software,” said Eric Witty, PeopleNet vice president, product management, in a Feb. 2 statement.

“We are confident that any current challenges will be short-lived as we continue to look ahead past the ELD mandate and build out the PeopleNet platform to meet our customers’ larger long-term needs,” he added. “We will continue to put our customers first as we evolve the platform and invest in their future success.”

PeopleNet Issues Q&A Advisory

Wanting to “provide clarity on this complex topic,” Witty said PeopleNet has put together an advisory in the form of a set of frequently asked questions, including these, which have been edited for length:

Q: Why did the FMCSA grant a waiver for some PeopleNet customers?

A: “The limited three-month waiver allows a more flexible transition for our customers from AOBRD to ELD software. It is also important to note that PeopleNet’s eDriver Logs solution is registered with the FMCSA and remains self-certified and fully compliant with the ELD mandate.”

Q: Why do some PeopleNet customers need a waiver?

A: “With the ELD mandate now more than a month old, many fleets are still interpreting the complexities of the final rule, particularly as it relates to the grandfather clause. We stand behind our customers and in this case agreed that the grandfather clause was not flexible enough to cover the operational complexities of the fleets we serve. As the FMCSA waiver notes, the PeopleNet system ‘achieve(s) a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the waiver,’ including capturing driver duty status and monitoring the real-time status of driver’s hours-of-service compliance… This waiver provides PeopleNet customers with even more flexibility and time. PeopleNet is committed to facilitating a transition that minimizes disruption and supports giving fleets, especially those with business-critical back office integrations, more flexibility in the transition. The waiver also allows customers to implement a holistic compliance platform that will better meet their long-term needs.”

Q: How is PeopleNet addressing customers’ long-term needs and success?

A: “Last year’s acquisition of ISE was the first step of our long-term strategy to build a new, future-proof platform for hours of service (HOS) data collection and compliance. By incorporating the ISE eFleetSuite solution into our eDriver Logs platform, we can leverage an industry-leading ELD solution, powered by an Android operating system that also incorporates other compliance features like DVIR. While this transition may cause some difficulties in the short-term, our decision to completely change how we capture HOS data will give us the ability to be more agile in introducing new solutions in the months and years to come, which will greatly benefit fleets by improving safety and efficiency.”

Q: What does the FMCSA 90-day waiver mean for PeopleNet customers in the short-term?

A: “As the mandate states, fleets that use AOBRDs today have an additional two years to implement ELDs. However, per the grandfather clause, if a fleet were to add any trucks in those two years, they must use an ELD, not an AOBRD. This scenario of a ‘mixed fleet’ — consisting of both AOBRDs and ELDs — can pose safety and operational challenges, both for drivers as well as critical back office integrations.

The FMCSA waiver gives our customers who integrate their existing AOBRDs to fleet management and safety systems up to three months, until March 18, 2018, to continue to install ELD-compatible devices running AOBRD software on any truck added to their fleet. This additional time gives our customers the ability to ensure their ELD data can seamlessly integrate with other back office software. These system-to-system integrations include dispatch, fleet maintenance, payroll and safety software.

This waiver allows fleets to continue to purchase ELD-ready hardware devices and operate them on AOBRD software until March 18, 2018. This also means that if a customer that qualifies for the waiver adds a new vehicle to their fleet between now and March 18 and installs it as AOBRD, that unit will be able to continue to function as an AOBRD until December 18, 2019.”

Q: Why has FMCSA published a notice of application for exemption and request for comments?

A: “Since, by law, an FMCSA waiver is only good for 90 days, an exemption request has been filed with FMCSA that seeks to extend the waiver for another nine months (from March 18 - December 18, 2018). If granted, this exemption request would apply to all PeopleNet customers who integrate their existing AOBRDs to fleet management and safety systems. The FMCSA has published a ‘Notice of application for exemption; request for comments’ to seek comments on whether the Agency should grant this exemption request. Comments are due no later than March 1, 2018. If granted, this ELD-related exemption will also apply to other carriers who are in a similar situation."

Related: FMCSA-- Carriers Stymied by PeopleNet AOBRD Issue May Seek Exemption


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David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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