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Marc's Safety Corner

Ask our expert, Marc Moncion, any questions you may have around fleet safety, compliance, DOT audits, roadside inspections or CSA scores. 

Ask our panel of experts, Marc, Guy and Brayn, any questions you may have around fleet safety, compliance, DOT audits, roadside inspections, CSA scores, or installation best practices.

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Are there any changes coming to eliminate tow-away companies from mandatory elogs, even though we operate interstate over 9 days in a 30 day period?

If the tow truck meets the definition of a driveaway-towaway operation under §390.5 definition they would be exempt from the ELD requirements. Specifically, a driveaway-towaway operation means an operation in which an empty or unladen motor vehicle with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the roadway is being transported: 

  1. Between vehicle manufacturer's facilities; 
  2. Between a vehicle manufacturer and a dealership or purchaser; 
  3. Between a dealership, or other entity selling or leasing the vehicle, and a purchaser or lessee; 
  4. To a motor carrier's terminal or repair facility for the repair of disabling damage (as defined in §390.5) following a crash; or 
  5. To a motor carrier's terminal or repair facility for repairs associated with the failure of a vehicle component or system; or 
  6. By means of a saddle-mount or tow-bar. 

Please note that the Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA) had requested that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) grant a five-year blanket exemption from the mandate for all tow truck drivers while they are providing towing, recovery and roadside repair services, and not just when under the driveaway-towaway operation exemption as listed above.   

See more details here.

The FMCSA subsequently denied the TRAA exemption request as it was decided that the exemption request would not achieve the equivalent level of safety that would be achieved by the use of ELDs. 

Therefore tow truck drivers are still required to keep a record of duty status (RODS) on paper, using an AOBRD, or a logging software program in order to comply with 395 unless otherwise exempt by Part 395. 

Further, the motor carrier that employs such drivers must ensure they maintain and retain such records for a period of 6 months accurate and true time records showing: 

  1. The time the driver reports for duty each day; 
  2. The total number of hours the driver is on duty each day; 
  3. The time the driver is released from duty each day; and 
  4. The total time for the preceding 7 days in accordance with §395.8(j)(2) for drivers used for the first time or intermittently. 

Finally, as with any potential exemption, I always recommend that you consult the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or your company legal representative before assuming you are, indeed, not required to adhere to the requirements of the ELD rule.

The above information is for informational purposes only, and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice.

  Jan 07, 2019     Marc Moncion


Marc Moncion

Marc is the Head of Safety, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs at Fleet Complete. He is an author and industry subject matter expert who has worked in numerous senior transportation management roles for over 25 years, including an Inspector for the MTO. Marc sits on several Federal/State/provincial regulatory bodies and frequently provides commentary on emerging technology, best practices and regulatory affairs. In addition, Marc is a commercial driver's licence (CCD) holder and can drive all types of commercial vehicles in North America.

Get to know Marc here!

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Ask The Expert - Guy Broderick (Driver trainer)


Guy Broderick linkedin2

Guest Expert - APPS Transport Group

Guy is a Driver Recruiter/Training Supervisor and Social Media Specialist at APPS Transport Group. Certified under the WSIB guidelines and a member of JHSC, Guy is an integral force behind the company's impeccable driving record. The APPS Safety Team has achieved the highest rating of Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration (CVOR) given by the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario. Since 2010, Guy has written for and contributed to numerous publications and associations, as well as has been elected as Chair of Ontario College of Trades Tractor Trailer Driver Trade Board, recently re-elected as Chair for the TTSAO Carrier Group, has sat on numerous provincial industry committees and is a Award Winning Driver recognized on both sides of the border.



Ask The Expert - Brayn Levi Gomez (professional installer)


Brayn Gomez  linkedin2

Guest Expert - Certified Professional Installer

Brayn transformed his passion and hobby of installing multimedia devices and car kits in luxury vehicles into a career in 2004. Since then, Brayn has installed thousands of electronics and GPS systems in a variety of vehicles and machines with or without a power source, even on bicycles. Bryan provides professional installation, re-installation and on-site technical services to Fleet Complete customers. Throughout his career, Brayn has encountered the effects of improper GPS system installation on the integrity of the vehicle and driver's safety, and offers his insights and tips to help ensure fleet managers and technicians are using best practices to install GPS equipment in their vehicles.