Under a pending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposal, carriers that use electronic recorders will get a break on the list of documents required to prove they are in compliance with the hours of service rules.
The agency is asking for comments on a plan to drop a half-dozen documents from its required list altogether, and many more for carriers that are using qualified electronic recorders to track driver hours.
The policy change is the first step toward an anticipated revision of the new electronic recorder requirement. That rule, which takes effect in June 2012, says carriers that violate hours of service rules 10 percent of the time, based on single compliance review, must use electronic onboard recorders to track driver hours. Later this year the agency is planning to propose a rule that will require many more carriers to use EOBRs. This policy change is in anticipation of that move.
One part of the policy change affects all carriers. The agency said it will no longer consider these items to be supporting documents: driver call-in records; international registration plan receipts; international fuel tax agreement receipts; trip permits; cash advance receipts; and driver fax reports.
These documents are simply not used regularly by enforcement officials, the agency explained.
The following documents are still included in the agency’s list for carriers that do not use EOBRs: bills of lading; carrier pros; freight bills; dispatch records; gate record receipts; weigh/scale tickets; fuel receipts; fuel billing statements; toll receipts; toll billing statements; port of entry receipts; delivery receipts; lumper receipts; interchange and inspection reports; lessor settlement sheets; over/short and damage reports; agricultural inspection reports; driver and vehicle examination reports; crash reports; telephone billing statements; credit card receipts; border crossing reports; customs declarations; traffic citations; and overweight/oversize permits.
Also on the list are electronic mobile communication and tracking records. If a carrier can produce these, it would not be required to produce most of the documents listed above.
Specifically, the carrier will not have to keep: gate record receipts; weigh/scale tickets; port of entry receipts; delivery receipts; toll receipts; agricultural inspection reports; over/short and damage reports; driver and vehicle examination reports; traffic citations; overweight/oversize reports and citations; carrier pros; credit card receipts; border crossing reports; customs declarations; and telephone billing statements.
Carriers that take advantage of this policy would not be able to challenge the accuracy of their electronic tracking records.
By Oliver B. Patton, Washington Editor