ELD compliance delay sought by Sikh, Punjabi trucker groups

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Two groups representing Sikh truckers and Punjabi truckers are petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a delay in complying with the electronic logging device mandate for members who haul agricultural products, as well as small business trucker members.

SikhsPAC and the North American Punjabiz Trucker Association are requesting the delay for their “fresh produce shipper and small truck business members,” the exemption request states, who the groups say are not fully prepared to meet the mandate’s requirements. The groups also voice concerns over driver privacy in their request, as well as that the ELD marketplace doesn’t accommodate the needs of the agriculture hauling industry and doesn’t factor in existing exemptions.

If granted the delay, the groups say it would give the ELD market time to develop “cost-effective and practical solutions” for the needs of their members. If the waiver is denied, the groups contend the ELD rule “will cause significant challenges and harm to fresh produce shippers and small truck businesses.”

The U.S. DOT granted a 90-day waiver from ELD compliance in December for livestock and other agricultural commodity haulers that gives these haulers until March 18 to switch to ELDs. It’s unclear if the waiver request from SikhsPAC and NAPTA is for an extension of that waiver, or if their members met the requirements to be included in that waiver.

The FMCSA will begin fielding public comments when the waiver request is published in the Federal Register on Friday, Jan. 26, which can be made at www.regulations.gov by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0342.

These groups are not the first to seek a waiver for small truck businesses, as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed for an exemption from the ELD mandate for small business truckers late last year.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in HWT’s partner publication, Commercial Carrier Journal.