National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

The ELD Mandate is Short-sighted When It Comes to Short-term Rentals

Fleets and owner-operators are hoping for an exemption from the ELD mandate for fleets and owner-operators who need short-term rentals.

In March, Victoria Kresge, Vice President of Dedicated Services for NationaLease, posted a blog on the ELD mandate and who has responsibility for the technology for leased vehicles and short-term rentals. Now Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease, addresses this issue in her recent IdeaXchange blog, “ELD exemption for short-term rental a good idea.”

The fact is that many fleets and Owner-Operators find themselves, at one time or another, in need of a rental, whether that’s to replace trucks that are down for repair or a seasonal uptick in business that requires additional vehicles for a short term. The responsibility to have the truck fitted with an ELD rests with the company renting the vehicle, not the rental company.

If all ELDs were standardized enabling interoperability with any operating system, this wouldn’t be such a bad idea. But that’s not the case, as Jane points out. She cites the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), which stated, “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.”

This is a major problem for fleets which is why those in the industry are asking the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association (FMCSA) to address this interoperability issue by issuing a “five-year exemption for trucks that are rented for 30 days or less.” If granted, this would allow drivers to use paper RODs during the rental period.

This is not a dispute about whether or not ELDs should be mandated. That ship has sailed. But for every good intention, problems can arise. What is clear is that the FMCSA did not consider the issue of short-term vehicle rentals when it created this mandate. The time for public comments has just recently passed so we’ll have to see what the final decision will be.

Read Jane’s full blog for more information.

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