KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ten trade associations representing approximately 6,000 farm, industrial and outdoor power equipment dealers in North America have requested a 5-year renewable exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule for equipment dealers.

The ELD rule will require equipment dealers to install ELDs in all of their commercial vehicles in place of written logs for tracking hours of service (HOS) for each 24-hour period beginning Dec. 18, 2017. The rule is intended to create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage and share records of duty status (RODS) data. However, the ELD rule creates confusing and overlapping scenarios created by conflicting rules placed on equipment dealers. Depending on the state definition of harvest-and-planting season, an equipment dealer may be required to install an ELD for only the couple months of the year when the agribusiness exemption is not in effect. This will cause confusion and create an overly complex regulatory framework that poses an undue burden on equipment dealers and their customers without any measurable safety benefit. Because of the complex and confusing overlap, many dealers will install and utilize ELDs when unnecessary to avoid harsh penalties including thousands of dollars in fines and potential shutdown orders. Without an exemption from the ELD rule, the result will be severely diminished hours of operation, and consequently, reduced responsiveness to their customers.

"The Electronic Logging Device rule is a classic 'one size fits all' regulation that does not account for the unique circumstances equipment dealers and their customers face in agriculture production,” says Eric Wareham, vice president of Government Affairs, Western Equipment Dealers Assn. “That is why we remain diligent in educating policymakers and pursuing public policy outcomes, such as this exemption, which ensures safety standards while allowing equipment dealers to respond to the needs of their customers.”

The 10 trade associations requesting the exemption are the Deep South Equipment Dealers Assn., Equipment Dealers Assn., Far West Equipment Dealers Assn., Midwest-SouthEastern Equipment Dealers Assn., Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Assn., North Dakota Implement Dealers Assn., Northeast Equipment Dealers Assn., The Ohio Equipment Distributors Assn., Western Equipment Dealers Assn. and the United Equipment Dealers Assn.

"I hope we will be successful in this attempt to gain a 5-year exemption to the ELD Final Rule for our membership,” says Nick Sinner, president/CEO of the Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Assn. “The complexity and confusion this ruling brings with it could interfere with the dealership’s ability to service their customers during planting and harvest seasons, the times of the year when farmers can't afford delays in completing their work."

To learn more about the Equipment Logging Device, contact Carolynn Sinclair 800-661-2452 or email csinclair@westerneda.com