For Immediate Release: April 20, 2017
Contact: Frank Moore - (202) 367-2366 
Email: frank@dealer.org

NLBMDA Files Comments in Support of Short Term 
Rental Exemption to ELD Rule

Today, NLBMDA has submitted comments in support of a petition filed by the Truck Renting and Leasing Association for an exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) Mandate for short-term truck rentals.

NLBMDA supports this petition because of the undue burden the ELD Mandate would impose on dealers and others who will occasionally need to use short-term rentals to meet higher than expected demand or replace vehicles temporarily out of service.

The majority of NLBMDA members are small, family-owned lumber and building material (LBM) operations, serving the same communities for several generations. NLBMDA itself recently celebrated its 100th year as a trade association for the LBM sector. Many of our members will use short-term rentals of 30 days or less to meet high demand periods or instances where a vehicle in their fleet has been taken out of operation for repairs and service.  The short-term rental option represents a very cost effective way to avoid the significant capital costs of having fleet assets that are only marginally productive.

Because short-term rentals are not exempt from the ELD rule, our members who otherwise would be exempt will face unnecessary regulatory uncertainty that can be easily avoided without jeopardizing the underlying regulatory goals and objectives of the ELD rule.  For example, the driver of a short-term rental who exceeds the mileage or daily on-duty time limits of the short-haul exemptions, or does not return to their normal work reporting location at the end of the duty period more than 8 times in any 30 day period, will be subject to the ELD requirements.

For those NLBMDA members who will have to meet the ELD requirements, their operating system may not allow seamless transfer of data when using a different system installed in a short-term rental. This includes the ability of one system to transfer a driver's duty status for the current 24-hour period and the prior seven days. It is also not clear whether short-term rental companies will provide dedicated units in their vehicles or rely on customers to have access to so-called Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) system.

NLBMDA believes it is incumbent on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to take these technology challenges into account when considering regulatory alternatives that avoid unnecessary burdens on the regulated community. Until the various ELD technologies find a means to allow users to record and retrieve data seamlessly, we believe an exemption is supported by the basic principles of rulemaking.

NLBMDA believes that a motor carrier should be able to easily determine if its operations are covered by the ELD requirements. If the carrier otherwise meets the 150 air-mile or 100 air-mile short-haul exemption, or any other applicable exemption, the necessity of using short-term rentals should not create the possibility that the carrier be pushed into another regulatory status.  Likewise, if a carrier is subject to the ELD requirements and invests in the necessary equipment, operating system and driver training, the carrier should not be subject to the technology challenges or compliance uncertainties created by the interoperability issues described above.

If you have questions, please contact NLBMDA's Regulatory Counsel, Frank Moore at (202) 367-2366 or email frank@dealer.org
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The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) represents its members in the national public policy arena. Founded in 1917, the association represents over 6,000 member locations operating single or multiple lumber yards and component plants serving homebuilders, subcontractors, general contractors, and consumers in the new construction, repair and remodeling of residential and light commercial.  www.dealer.org .