The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is providing a partial waiver of sorts from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for short-term truck rentals.

Based on a draft of a federal register notice formally being published today, the agency said this “limited exemption” provides that all drivers of “property-carrying” commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) rented for eight days or less, regardless of reason, are not required to use an ELD.

While operating under this rental-truck exemption, drivers remain subject to the standard hours-of-service (HOS) limits, must maintain a paper record of duty status (RODS) if required, and maintain a copy of the rental agreement on the vehicle.

However, the agency stressed that drivers of rental vehicles operating longer than eight days will be required to comply with the ELD mandate.

This exemption is the result of petition filed by the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) filed back on Nov. 1, 2016, requesting relief for trucks rented 30 days or less for a period of five years.

The group claimed that the ELD mandate would require every truck in a company's rental fleet be retrofitted and equipped with an ELD to ensure compliance, whether or not the rental customer needed to use an ELD or not, such as in short-haul vocations.

While TRALA said it “regrets” that its petition to allow trucks rented for 30 days or less be exempted from the ELD mandate was not accepted fully, having the ability to operate rental trucks for eight days without requiring an ELD will help “alleviate some problems,” especially in light of the “technical reality” that ELDs are not interoperable across multiple telematics platforms.