Members already being misinformed
In mid-July the WSTA responded to the latest modification of the California Highway Patrol’s rulemaking to mandate electronic logging devices (ELD’s) for hours-of-service (HOS) compliance of motor carriers/drivers operating only within the state.
The 15-day notice issued by CHP only dealt with correcting some technical language, not any modifications to their initially proposed rule.
California is mandated under federal law to adopt the mandate requiring the use of ELD’s after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandated motor carriers/drivers operating in interstate commerce use ELD’s beginning on December 18, 2017.
Many motor carrier/drivers will not be required to use ELD’s yet could still make occasional trips out of their normal service area if necessary, without needing an ELD by using exceptions in the rule that mirror federal exceptions.
The WSTA tried to get CHP to mimic the federal ELD rule in its entirety but was unsuccessful. California will retain a 12-hour maximum on-duty period and 100 air mile short haul exception for hours-of-service compliance instead of adopting the federal 14-hour/150 air mile exception.
The short haul exception in HOS rules simply allows motor carrier/drivers who are dispatched from and return to the same location every day to record their HOS via timecards/time sheets, etc.
Many of our members operate within 100-air miles of their home terminal so nothing will change for those types of operations. However, some will occasionally go outside the 100-air miles and just as now, even with an ELD mandate you will just be required to record that days HOS on a paper log (not timecard/timesheet).
However, there is a limit to the number days you can operate outside your home terminal area without the ELD mandate kicking in. You will only be allowed to run on paper logs for no more than 8 days in any 30-day period. If you exceed that threshold, you are required to install an ELD.
For those who take work in other areas of the state – away from their normal work reporting station (terminal) and spend time in a different area, many who have used paper logs on a daily basis to record their hours worked when working locally, need to consider changing that practice. That practice can inadvertently get you in trouble as most roadside law enforcement officers will interpret that behavior as you are being required to complete a paper log and as such after 8 days logged want to see an ELD.
It has always been permissible to change your home terminal for the purposes of recording your HOS. For example, if you are headed to an area of the state to work a long-term project or aid in fire recovery (assuming an emergency declaration doesn’t exist exempting you from HOS rules), you would simply use a paper log to record travel time that is more than 100 air miles from your home terminal then re-designate your home terminal as the address of where you are staying (hotel, camp-ground, relatives house) during the duration of the work and allowing you to revert to time-cards/time sheets, etc.
Hopefully this doesn’t sound too confusing. If you have any questions, please call WSTA Director of Governmental Affairs, Joe Rajkovacz at (909) 486-7225.