Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), 15282-15283 [2019-07436]

Download as PDF 15282 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 72 / Monday, April 15, 2019 / Notices www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ insert.specific.link.when.finalized. The exemption will be valid for 5 years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or commercial motor vehicles fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate that motor carriers using the alternate cargo securement methods for the securement of agricultural commodities transported in wood and plastic boxes and bins and large fiberglass tubs, and hay, straw, and cotton bales that are grouped together in large singular units, are not achieving the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption. Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate commerce. Issued on: April 9, 2019. Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–07437 Filed 4–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0299] Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of application for exemption. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Apr 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 FMCSA announces its decision to deny the application of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) for an exemption from the requirement that its drivers use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record their hours of service (HOS). FCA requested the exemption for all its operators of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) including engineers, technicians, and other drivers who operate CMVs on public roads. FMCSA analyzed the exemption application and the single public comment submitted, and has determined that the applicant would not achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent the exemption. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202–366–2722. 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: SUMMARY: Background FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain 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. FMCSA 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(a)). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 5 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). III. Request for Exemption FCA’s commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) include RAM trucks and other product families, which, when PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 configured with a trailer, have a gross combination weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. When operated in interstate commerce, this subjects the company and its drivers to 49 CFR parts 300–399, including the hours-of-service (HOS) rules. Procedures and processes are in place to ensure that only FCA and supplier employees with an active driver qualification file operate these vehicles. In any given year, up to 100 FCA employees may be involved in driving its CMVs on product development off-site road trips. All of its engineers and technicians are infrequent drivers who, on average, drive fewer than 2,500 miles a year on public roads. Additionally, all Engineering Groups conduct off-site road trips to evaluate systems and components to support future product development activities. Including nonCMV support vehicles, FCA normally sends between 8 to 12 vehicles with 4 to 5 trailers. This type of trip would include up to 20 drivers (engineers and technicians) who possess either a commercial driver’s license or a chauffer’s license. Most road trips involve a smaller number of vehicles and drivers, and according to FCA, a significant amount of testing occurs while the vehicles are stationary. FCA’s product development activities encompass working with suppliers on validating engineering redesigns for future vehicles. FCA tests ‘‘next generation’’ vehicles against competing products from other original equipment manufacturers in dynamic settings. FCA estimates that 85% to 90% of such testing occurs on site at its facilities or proving grounds, and the remaining testing occurs off site on public roads. Specifically, FCA conducts tests to benchmark vehicles against competing brands, and some of these programs involve calibration and thermal validation of complete vehicle systems at various locations in the United States and Canada. On occasion, the instrumented vehicles and trailers are shipped to the off-site testing location, and on other occasions, FCA’s engineers, technicians and suppliers drive these vehicles to the off-site test locations. None of its CMVs are involved in package delivery or passenger transportation. FCA has already tested several portable electronic logging device (ELD) units and found that the devices interfere with the ability of FCA’s data loggers to capture high-speed data from vehicle control modules and networks for critical vehicle validation. Furthermore, the devices cause the logger to suspend all message transmissions in error. As a result of its E:\FR\FM\15APN1.SGM 15APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 72 / Monday, April 15, 2019 / Notices detailed investigations on this matter, FCA has concluded that utilizing paper records of duty status (RODS) and/or an HOS compliance application other than an ELD is the most effective and accurate method of measuring and reporting HOS in a manner compatible with FCA’s data loggers. FCA further includes a number of exhibits which demonstrate the problems described in the application when utilizing ELDS. The Company also includes HOS and other general compliance forms currently used to remain in compliance with the appropriate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. A copy of FCA’s application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES V. Public Comments On October 18, 2018, FMCSA published notice of this application and requested public comment (83 FR 52870). The Agency received one comment from an individual in opposition to the FCA exemption request. Excerpts from this comment were as follows: ‘‘Fiat’s request creates a growing burden on the FMCSA’s partners that enforce the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Part 395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(1) has an exception from the ELD and for a driver to use a paper log for eight days in any 30-day period. If the staff at Fiat is doing 80%– 90% of the work on its closed courses where no log is required then the exception in the regulation should be more than sufficient, i.e., 80% of 31 days is 24.8 (25 days) meaning a driver would use a paper log for six days below the eight-day limit. . . . [R]oadside officers must attempt to try and keep track of the numerous exemptions allowed by the FMCSA. . . . The more exemptions that exist decreases [sic] the public’s safety as carriers abuse the safety regulations. . . . Fiat could utilize the exception in Part 395.8 and avoid burdening the system with one additional exemption. Fiat should have to substantiate that utilization of the exception in Part 395.8 is not practicable and creates a significant burden on the organization.’’ VI. FMCSA Decision When FMCSA published the final rule mandating ELDs, it relied upon research indicating that the rule improves CMV safety by improving compliance with the HOS rules. The rule also reduces the overall paperwork burden for both motor carriers and drivers. In its application, FCA provides no analysis of the safety performance of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Apr 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 drivers who would operate using paper RODS under the exemption. FCA provides no analysis of how the risk of fatigue and crashes while operating a CMV without an ELD would be equivalent to the risk posed by operating a vehicle with one installed. The FCA application does not consider practical alternatives or provide an analysis of the safety impacts the requested exemption may cause. It also does not provide countermeasures to be undertaken to ensure that the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation. Furthermore, based on the information provided in their application, FCA may qualify for the general short-haul (8 days in 30) exemption from ELDs. For these reasons, FMCSA denies FCA’s request for an exemption. Issued on: April 8, 2019. Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–07436 Filed 4–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0347] Commercial Driver’s License Standards: Application for Exemption; Navistar, Inc. (Navistar) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant an exemption to Navistar, Inc. (Navistar) for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver employed by its business partner MAN Truck & Bus AG (MAN) of Munich, Germany. Navistar requested an exemption for Mr. Jerome Douay, a Product Engineer Senior Manager with MAN. He holds a valid German commercial license. MAN is partnering with Navistar to help develop technology advancements in fuel economy and emissions reductions. Mr. Douay wants to test drive Navistar vehicles on U.S. roads to better understand product requirements in ‘‘real world’’ environments, and verify results. Navistar believes the requirements for a German commercial license ensure that operation under the exemption will likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15283 level that would be obtained in the absence of the exemption. DATES: This exemption is effective April 15, 2019 and expires April 15, 2024. ADDRESSES: 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 Federal Docket Management System (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: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202–366–4325. 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 Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2018–0347 in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 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 E:\FR\FM\15APN1.SGM 15APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 72 (Monday, April 15, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15282-15283]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-07436]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0299]


Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Fiat 
Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of application for 
exemption.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to deny the application of Fiat 
Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) for an exemption from the requirement that 
its drivers use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record their hours 
of service (HOS). FCA requested the exemption for all its operators of 
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) including engineers, technicians, and 
other drivers who operate CMVs on public roads. FMCSA analyzed the 
exemption application and the single public comment submitted, and has 
determined that the applicant would not achieve a level of safety that 
is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved 
absent the exemption.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-2722. Email: [email protected]. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain 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.
    FMCSA 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(a)). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, 
the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and 
the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. 
The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up 
to 5 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The 
exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    FCA's commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) include RAM trucks and other 
product families, which, when configured with a trailer, have a gross 
combination weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. When operated in 
interstate commerce, this subjects the company and its drivers to 49 
CFR parts 300-399, including the hours-of-service (HOS) rules. 
Procedures and processes are in place to ensure that only FCA and 
supplier employees with an active driver qualification file operate 
these vehicles. In any given year, up to 100 FCA employees may be 
involved in driving its CMVs on product development off-site road 
trips. All of its engineers and technicians are infrequent drivers who, 
on average, drive fewer than 2,500 miles a year on public roads. 
Additionally, all Engineering Groups conduct off-site road trips to 
evaluate systems and components to support future product development 
activities. Including non-CMV support vehicles, FCA normally sends 
between 8 to 12 vehicles with 4 to 5 trailers. This type of trip would 
include up to 20 drivers (engineers and technicians) who possess either 
a commercial driver's license or a chauffer's license. Most road trips 
involve a smaller number of vehicles and drivers, and according to FCA, 
a significant amount of testing occurs while the vehicles are 
stationary.
    FCA's product development activities encompass working with 
suppliers on validating engineering redesigns for future vehicles. FCA 
tests ``next generation'' vehicles against competing products from 
other original equipment manufacturers in dynamic settings. FCA 
estimates that 85% to 90% of such testing occurs on site at its 
facilities or proving grounds, and the remaining testing occurs off 
site on public roads. Specifically, FCA conducts tests to benchmark 
vehicles against competing brands, and some of these programs involve 
calibration and thermal validation of complete vehicle systems at 
various locations in the United States and Canada. On occasion, the 
instrumented vehicles and trailers are shipped to the off-site testing 
location, and on other occasions, FCA's engineers, technicians and 
suppliers drive these vehicles to the off-site test locations. None of 
its CMVs are involved in package delivery or passenger transportation.
    FCA has already tested several portable electronic logging device 
(ELD) units and found that the devices interfere with the ability of 
FCA's data loggers to capture high-speed data from vehicle control 
modules and networks for critical vehicle validation. Furthermore, the 
devices cause the logger to suspend all message transmissions in error. 
As a result of its

[[Page 15283]]

detailed investigations on this matter, FCA has concluded that 
utilizing paper records of duty status (RODS) and/or an HOS compliance 
application other than an ELD is the most effective and accurate method 
of measuring and reporting HOS in a manner compatible with FCA's data 
loggers. FCA further includes a number of exhibits which demonstrate 
the problems described in the application when utilizing ELDS. The 
Company also includes HOS and other general compliance forms currently 
used to remain in compliance with the appropriate Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations.
    A copy of FCA's application for exemption is available for review 
in the docket for this notice.

V. Public Comments

    On October 18, 2018, FMCSA published notice of this application and 
requested public comment (83 FR 52870). The Agency received one comment 
from an individual in opposition to the FCA exemption request. Excerpts 
from this comment were as follows: ``Fiat's request creates a growing 
burden on the FMCSA's partners that enforce the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations. Part 395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(1) has an exception from 
the ELD and for a driver to use a paper log for eight days in any 30-
day period. If the staff at Fiat is doing 80%-90% of the work on its 
closed courses where no log is required then the exception in the 
regulation should be more than sufficient, i.e., 80% of 31 days is 24.8 
(25 days) meaning a driver would use a paper log for six days below the 
eight-day limit. . . . [R]oadside officers must attempt to try and keep 
track of the numerous exemptions allowed by the FMCSA. . . . The more 
exemptions that exist decreases [sic] the public's safety as carriers 
abuse the safety regulations. . . . Fiat could utilize the exception in 
Part 395.8 and avoid burdening the system with one additional 
exemption. Fiat should have to substantiate that utilization of the 
exception in Part 395.8 is not practicable and creates a significant 
burden on the organization.''

VI. FMCSA Decision

    When FMCSA published the final rule mandating ELDs, it relied upon 
research indicating that the rule improves CMV safety by improving 
compliance with the HOS rules. The rule also reduces the overall 
paperwork burden for both motor carriers and drivers.
    In its application, FCA provides no analysis of the safety 
performance of drivers who would operate using paper RODS under the 
exemption. FCA provides no analysis of how the risk of fatigue and 
crashes while operating a CMV without an ELD would be equivalent to the 
risk posed by operating a vehicle with one installed.
    The FCA application does not consider practical alternatives or 
provide an analysis of the safety impacts the requested exemption may 
cause. It also does not provide countermeasures to be undertaken to 
ensure that the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the 
current regulation. Furthermore, based on the information provided in 
their application, FCA may qualify for the general short-haul (8 days 
in 30) exemption from ELDs. For these reasons, FMCSA denies FCA's 
request for an exemption.

    Issued on: April 8, 2019.
Raymond P. Martinez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-07436 Filed 4-12-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P