Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc. (TRALA), 14789-14790 [2017-05632]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 54 / Wednesday, March 22, 2017 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0428] Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc. (TRALA) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces that the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc. (TRALA) has requested an exemption from the requirement that a motor carrier install and require each of its drivers to use an electronic logging device (ELD) to record the driver’s hours-of-service (HOS) no later than December 18, 2017. TRALA requests the exemption for all drivers of propertycarrying vehicles rented for 30 days or fewer because the ELD mandate will result in unintended technical and operational consequences that will unfairly and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles. TRALA believes that the exemption, if granted, would not have any adverse impacts on operational safety, as drivers would remain subject to the standard HOS limits and maintain a paper record of duty status (RODS). The term of the requested exemption is 5 years. FMCSA requests public comment on TRALA’s application for exemption. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before April 21, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA–2016–0428 by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further information. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:14 Mar 21, 2017 Jkt 241001 personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this notice, contact Mr. Tom Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 614–942– 6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation and Request for Comments FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA–2016–0428), indicate the specific section of this document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission. To submit your comments online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2016–0428’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14789 of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application based on your comments. II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). III. Request for Exemption TRALA is a national trade association of companies whose members engage in commercial truck renting and leasing, vehicle finance leasing, and consumer truck rental. Its membership encompasses major independent firms such as Ryder System, Penske Truck Leasing, U-Haul, Budget, and Enterprise Truck Rental, as well as small and medium-size businesses that generally participate as members of four leasing group systems: Idealease, NationaLease, PACCAR Leasing Company, and Mack Leasing System-Volvo Truck Leasing System. In total, its nearly 500 member companies operate more than 5,000 commercial leasing and rental locations, E:\FR\FM\22MRN1.SGM 22MRN1 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 14790 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 54 / Wednesday, March 22, 2017 / Notices and more than 20,000 consumer rental locations throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. ‘‘Renting’’ is a term of art in the vehicle leasing industry, generally meaning a transaction granting the exclusive use of a vehicle for 30 days or less, whereas a lease generally means a transaction granting the exclusive use of a vehicle for more than 30 days. TRALA’s petition is on behalf of the drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) rented for 30 days or less. While TRALA fully supports the FMCSA’s final rule to mandate ELDs, it is concerned about unintended technical and operational consequences that will unfairly and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles. The commercial vehicle rental industry provides short-term rental services to a large population of drivers on a daily basis. Most of these drivers will employ an ELD to comply with the new rule. Considering the significant number of different device platforms and subscription options, it is highly unlikely that the driver’s device would be able to communicate properly with the rental company’s telematics platform. TRALA states that while FMCSA recognized these issues presented by a lack of interoperability among ELD systems, and required certain technical specifications in the final rule, the Agency stopped short of requiring full interoperability among ELDs. According to TRALA, many commenters to the proposed ELD rule raised these same interoperability concerns. However, the rule requires only that ELDs be able to transfer data electronically via either a ‘‘telematics’’ approach capable of wireless web service, or a ‘‘local’’ method capable of Bluetooth and USB 2.0 transfer. Furthermore, the Agency decided ‘‘not to require full interoperability between all ELDs,’’ reasoning that ‘‘[a]lthough full interoperability would have some benefits, it would also be complicated and costly.’’ In essence, according to TRALA, in the final rule the Agency left it to the ELD manufacturers to address many concerns regarding noninteroperability of the various software systems on the market. TRALA elaborates on their two primary issues of concern relating to the exemption request: (1) Data transfer and, (2) data liability. Regarding the data transfer concerns, TRALA describes two potential problems. First, a customer that is required to use an ELD may rent a truck that has one operating system, while the customer may use another operating VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:14 Mar 21, 2017 Jkt 241001 system for its drivers; data cannot be transferred from the rental vehicle to the customer’s system unless both ELDs are on the same platform. In addition, upon request by an authorized safety official, a driver must produce and transfer the driver’s HOS records from an ELD in accordance with 49 CFR 395.24(d). This would include the driver’s duty status for the current 24-hour period and the prior seven days. However, if the driver is operating a rental vehicle with an ELD that is not compatible with the driver’s normal ELD system, the data will not transfer to the new vehicle’s ELD system. That scenario would be considered an ‘‘ELD malfunction’’ and the driver would be required to reconstruct the RODS for the current 24hour period and the previous seven consecutive days on graph grid paper logs. TRALA’s exemption application requests that drivers of short-term rental vehicles be allowed to avoid the uncertainties of attempting compliance with the HOS rules using noncompatible ELD systems, and instead use paper RODS during the rental period. Additionally, regarding data transfer concerns, due to significant use commercial vehicles are more prone to break-downs than non-commercial vehicles. TRALA advises that when commercial vehicles break-down, they are often replaced temporarily by shortterm rental vehicles until the original truck can be repaired. These repairs can take days, if not several weeks, to complete. More often than not, replacement vehicles come from a thirdparty rental company, which increases the likelihood that the replacement truck will have a different ELD operating system than the vehicle it is replacing, thus impeding data transfer. TRALA’s second primary issue involves data liability concerns. TRALA states that it has been suggested that rental companies should be able to collect and report ELD data to customers, allowing customers to access the data seamlessly. However, the final rule does not require ELDs to be capable of reading and combining exported data from other providers. Furthermore, lessors do not have the ability to combine data from different devices into one report. TRALA states that requiring lessors to bear the burden of safeguarding the data for each renter would expose the rental company to tremendous risk with respect to data security and protection. All parties involved in the business transaction would probably reject rental companies’ assumption of these risks on behalf of their customers. PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 TRALA also briefly mentions two potential solutions related to their exemption request. One potential solution is the use of a ‘‘memory stick’’ to transfer data between different telematics platforms. However, the ELD rule does not require that devices be capable of moving driver HOS data from one device to another using this method. Secondly, some drivers of short-term rental vehicles will be exempt from the ELD requirements under the short-haul provisions in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) or 49 CFR 395.1(e)(2). To the extent that drivers of short-term rental vehicles exceed the mileage or daily on-duty time limits of these short-haul exemptions, or do not return to their normal work reporting locations at the end of the duty period more than 8 times in any 30-day period, they will be subject to the ELD requirements when compliance becomes mandatory as of December 18, 2017. Thus, although the short-haul exemption is helpful for a small group of drivers, TRALA asserts that it does not address the underlying challenges that it raises in its exemption application. IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety TRALA states that granting this exemption will result in a level of safety that is equal to or greater than the level of safety achieved by complying with the ELD rule. The exemption is requested for property-carrying CMVs rented for 30 days or less. Short-term rentals that require HOS reporting represent an extremely small percentage of trucks on the road; however, the requirements of the ELD rule would impose significant burden on the industry and its customers. By allowing drivers of short-term rentals to continue to operate with paper RODS, TRALA’s members and their customers would be able to comply with all Federal and State HOS regulations while continuing to operate efficiently and safely. TRALA further adds that an exemption from the ELD requirements for short-term rental vehicles will actually improve motor carrier safety enforcement by allowing enforcement officials to follow current requirements as opposed to a more complicated process required by the ELD rule. A copy of TRALA’s application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice. Issued on: March 16, 2017. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2017–05632 Filed 3–21–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P E:\FR\FM\22MRN1.SGM 22MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 54 (Wednesday, March 22, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14789-14790]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05632]



[[Page 14789]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0428]


Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Truck 
Renting and Leasing Association, Inc. (TRALA)

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that the Truck Renting and Leasing 
Association, Inc. (TRALA) has requested an exemption from the 
requirement that a motor carrier install and require each of its 
drivers to use an electronic logging device (ELD) to record the 
driver's hours-of-service (HOS) no later than December 18, 2017. TRALA 
requests the exemption for all drivers of property-carrying vehicles 
rented for 30 days or fewer because the ELD mandate will result in 
unintended technical and operational consequences that will unfairly 
and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles. TRALA believes that 
the exemption, if granted, would not have any adverse impacts on 
operational safety, as drivers would remain subject to the standard HOS 
limits and maintain a paper record of duty status (RODS). The term of 
the requested exemption is 5 years. FMCSA requests public comment on 
TRALA's application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 21, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA-2016-0428 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the 
Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further 
information.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Each submission must include the Agency name and the 
docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments 
received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading 
below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each 
day, 365 days each year.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this 
notice, contact Mr. Tom Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier 
Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety 
Standards; Telephone: 614-942-6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have 
questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials.

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2016-0428), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for 
suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and 
material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only 
one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comments online, go to www.regulations.gov and put 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2016-0428'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and 
click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on ``Comment 
Now!'' button and type your comment into the text box in the following 
screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual 
or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your 
comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no 
larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic 
filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they 
reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard 
or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received 
during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application 
based on your comments.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must 
provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant 
to the application, including any safety analyses that have been 
conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public 
comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, 
and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a 
level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    TRALA is a national trade association of companies whose members 
engage in commercial truck renting and leasing, vehicle finance 
leasing, and consumer truck rental. Its membership encompasses major 
independent firms such as Ryder System, Penske Truck Leasing, U-Haul, 
Budget, and Enterprise Truck Rental, as well as small and medium-size 
businesses that generally participate as members of four leasing group 
systems: Idealease, NationaLease, PACCAR Leasing Company, and Mack 
Leasing System-Volvo Truck Leasing System. In total, its nearly 500 
member companies operate more than 5,000 commercial leasing and rental 
locations,

[[Page 14790]]

and more than 20,000 consumer rental locations throughout the United 
States, Mexico and Canada.
    ``Renting'' is a term of art in the vehicle leasing industry, 
generally meaning a transaction granting the exclusive use of a vehicle 
for 30 days or less, whereas a lease generally means a transaction 
granting the exclusive use of a vehicle for more than 30 days. TRALA's 
petition is on behalf of the drivers of property-carrying commercial 
motor vehicles (CMVs) rented for 30 days or less.
    While TRALA fully supports the FMCSA's final rule to mandate ELDs, 
it is concerned about unintended technical and operational consequences 
that will unfairly and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles. The 
commercial vehicle rental industry provides short-term rental services 
to a large population of drivers on a daily basis. Most of these 
drivers will employ an ELD to comply with the new rule. Considering the 
significant number of different device platforms and subscription 
options, it is highly unlikely that the driver's device would be able 
to communicate properly with the rental company's telematics platform. 
TRALA states that while FMCSA recognized these issues presented by a 
lack of interoperability among ELD systems, and required certain 
technical specifications in the final rule, the Agency stopped short of 
requiring full interoperability among ELDs.
    According to TRALA, many commenters to the proposed ELD rule raised 
these same interoperability concerns. However, the rule requires only 
that ELDs be able to transfer data electronically via either a 
``telematics'' approach capable of wireless web service, or a ``local'' 
method capable of Bluetooth and USB 2.0 transfer. Furthermore, the 
Agency decided ``not to require full interoperability between all 
ELDs,'' reasoning that ``[a]lthough full interoperability would have 
some benefits, it would also be complicated and costly.'' In essence, 
according to TRALA, in the final rule the Agency left it to the ELD 
manufacturers to address many concerns regarding non-interoperability 
of the various software systems on the market.
    TRALA elaborates on their two primary issues of concern relating to 
the exemption request: (1) Data transfer and, (2) data liability.
    Regarding the data transfer concerns, TRALA describes two potential 
problems. First, a customer that is required to use an ELD may rent a 
truck that has one operating system, while the customer may use another 
operating system for its drivers; data cannot be transferred from the 
rental vehicle to the customer's system unless both ELDs are on the 
same platform. In addition, upon request by an authorized safety 
official, a driver must produce and transfer the driver's HOS records 
from an ELD in accordance with 49 CFR 395.24(d). This would include the 
driver's duty status for the current 24-hour period and the prior seven 
days. However, if the driver is operating a rental vehicle with an ELD 
that is not compatible with the driver's normal ELD system, the data 
will not transfer to the new vehicle's ELD system. That scenario would 
be considered an ``ELD malfunction'' and the driver would be required 
to reconstruct the RODS for the current 24-hour period and the previous 
seven consecutive days on graph grid paper logs. TRALA's exemption 
application requests that drivers of short-term rental vehicles be 
allowed to avoid the uncertainties of attempting compliance with the 
HOS rules using non-compatible ELD systems, and instead use paper RODS 
during the rental period.
    Additionally, regarding data transfer concerns, due to significant 
use commercial vehicles are more prone to break-downs than non-
commercial vehicles. TRALA advises that when commercial vehicles break-
down, they are often replaced temporarily by short-term rental vehicles 
until the original truck can be repaired. These repairs can take days, 
if not several weeks, to complete. More often than not, replacement 
vehicles come from a third-party rental company, which increases the 
likelihood that the replacement truck will have a different ELD 
operating system than the vehicle it is replacing, thus impeding data 
transfer.
    TRALA's second primary issue involves data liability concerns. 
TRALA states that it has been suggested that rental companies should be 
able to collect and report ELD data to customers, allowing customers to 
access the data seamlessly. However, the final rule does not require 
ELDs to be capable of reading and combining exported data from other 
providers. Furthermore, lessors do not have the ability to combine data 
from different devices into one report. TRALA states that requiring 
lessors to bear the burden of safeguarding the data for each renter 
would expose the rental company to tremendous risk with respect to data 
security and protection. All parties involved in the business 
transaction would probably reject rental companies' assumption of these 
risks on behalf of their customers.
    TRALA also briefly mentions two potential solutions related to 
their exemption request. One potential solution is the use of a 
``memory stick'' to transfer data between different telematics 
platforms. However, the ELD rule does not require that devices be 
capable of moving driver HOS data from one device to another using this 
method.
    Secondly, some drivers of short-term rental vehicles will be exempt 
from the ELD requirements under the short-haul provisions in 49 CFR 
395.1(e)(1) or 49 CFR 395.1(e)(2). To the extent that drivers of short-
term rental vehicles exceed the mileage or daily on-duty time limits of 
these short-haul exemptions, or do not return to their normal work 
reporting locations at the end of the duty period more than 8 times in 
any 30-day period, they will be subject to the ELD requirements when 
compliance becomes mandatory as of December 18, 2017. Thus, although 
the short-haul exemption is helpful for a small group of drivers, TRALA 
asserts that it does not address the underlying challenges that it 
raises in its exemption application.

IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

    TRALA states that granting this exemption will result in a level of 
safety that is equal to or greater than the level of safety achieved by 
complying with the ELD rule. The exemption is requested for property-
carrying CMVs rented for 30 days or less. Short-term rentals that 
require HOS reporting represent an extremely small percentage of trucks 
on the road; however, the requirements of the ELD rule would impose 
significant burden on the industry and its customers. By allowing 
drivers of short-term rentals to continue to operate with paper RODS, 
TRALA's members and their customers would be able to comply with all 
Federal and State HOS regulations while continuing to operate 
efficiently and safely. TRALA further adds that an exemption from the 
ELD requirements for short-term rental vehicles will actually improve 
motor carrier safety enforcement by allowing enforcement officials to 
follow current requirements as opposed to a more complicated process 
required by the ELD rule.
    A copy of TRALA's application for exemption is available for review 
in the docket for this notice.

    Issued on: March 16, 2017.
 Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-05632 Filed 3-21-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P