A bill that was filed in the U.S. House last week is seeking a permanent ELD exemption for small carriers with 10 or fewer trucks. The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act is sponsored by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) and Greg Gianforte (R-Montana).

The FMCSA’s ELD mandate became effective on December 18, 2017. The ELD mandate requires all non-exempt commercial drivers to use FMCSA-registered electronic logging devices to record their hours-of-service and duty status information.

Full enforcement of the ELD mandate began on April 1, 2018, which means that ELD violations now affect CSA scores as well as put non-exempt drivers without ELDs out-of-service for at least 10 hours.

Note: For more details, read full enforcement began: 7 things you need to know. Also, the FMCSA has recently updated the CSA SMS to include ELD violations. There are now 22 ELD-related violations that affect a carrier’s CSA score. If you qualify for the ELD mandate, it is important to know the violations that could damage your CSA SMS scores.

The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act is the first attempt in Congress to permanently exempt owner-operators and small carriers with 10 or fewer trucks. The bill, however, has to be passed by the House and the Senate and be signed by President Trump in order to become law.

Last year, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a petition with the FMCSA to allow small trucking businesses with strong safety records to run on paper logs instead of ELDs for five years. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), businesses with less than $27 million a year in revenue qualify as ‘small businesses.’ However, the FMCSA has not yet issued a decision on the OOIDA’s request.

Small carriers and ELD adoption

When the ELD mandate became effective, owner-operators and small carriers struggled to keep up with the implementation process. Because of so many complex and expensive ELD solutions, smaller carriers were slow to adopt electronic logging devices. Some smaller carriers still find it difficult to bear the cost of electronic logging devices.

Keeping in mind the struggles of owner-operators and small carriers, we created the Motive ELD solution that is FMCSA-registered, easy-to-use, easy-to-install, and affordable for fleets of all sizes.

The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act has a long way to go, and considering the current climate of the trucking industry and the various advantages of electronic logging devices and the connected freight world, it seems highly unlikely that the bill would be passed as-is. If you’re a non-exempt small carrier or owner-operator without an ELD, try Motive and become compliant today.