[Federal Register: September 13, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 176)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 385 and 395
[Docket No. FMCSA-2004-18940]
Electronic On-Board Recorders for Hours-of-Service Compliance
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; Technical amendments and response to petitions for
SUMMARY: FMCSA amends its April 5, 2010, final rule that established
new performance standards for electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs)
installed in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). In response to petitions
for reconsideration from Qualcomm Incorporated, XATA Corporation, and a
group of industry stakeholders, FMCSA amends requirements relating to
the temperature range in which EOBRs must be able to operate, and the
connector type specified for the Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface.
DATES: The amendments in this final rule become effective September 13,
ADDRESSES: Public Access to the Docket: You may view, print, and
download this final rule and all related documents and background
material on-line at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.regulations.gov, using the Docket ID
Number FMCSA-2004-18940. These documents can also be examined and
copied for a fee at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, West Building-Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey
Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Deborah M. Freund, Vehicle and
Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and
Operations (MC-PSV), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-4325.
The legal basis of the April 2010 final rule is also applicable to
this final rule. See 75 FR 17208-17252, April 5, 2010.
The FMCSA was notified about two technical errors in the April 5,
2010, "Electronic On-board Recorders for Hours of Service Compliance"
final rule. (75 FR 17208). The FMCSA also received several petitions
for reconsideration of the final rule that are discussed further in
this final rule.
(1) The first sentence in Sec. 385.807(a) currently reads
"Following the close of the compliance review described in Sec.
385.805(a), FMCSA will issue the motor carrier a written notice of
remedial directive and proposed determination of unfitness." The
regulatory citation should read "Sec. 385.805," not "Sec.
(2) Section 385.815(e) currently reads "The exemption granted
under this section shall not apply to CMVs manufactured on or after the
date 2 years from the effective date of this rule." The effective date
referenced should be June 4, 2012, as is stated elsewhere in the final
Petitions for Reconsideration
FMCSA received petitions for reconsideration, timely filed, from
Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm), XATA Corporation (XATA), and a group
of industry stakeholders, including the American Trucking Associations'
Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) EOBR Task Force \1\
(Stakeholders). Qualcomm and Stakeholders requested that FMCSA
reconsider the final rule's requirements for (1) the temperature range
in which EOBRs must be able to operate, and (2) the connector type
specified for the USB interface. XATA's petition covered the same
matters as those of Qualcomm and Stakeholders, but further requested
that FMCSA (1) clarify certain reportable events in the diagnostic
table, and (2) consider offering an additional alternative for the data
transfer between an EOBR and a roadside safety official's portable
computer. FMCSA met with the stakeholders on June 2, 2010 (a list of
the attendees and a summary of the meeting has been placed in the
docket) in response to their request for an opportunity to present
their concerns in person.
\1\ Companies and organizations submitting the petition included
Qualcomm Enterprise Services, PeopleNet, XATA Corporation,
Continental Corporation, American Trucking Associations, American
Bus Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, National
Private Truck Council, and United Motorcoach Association.
A discussion of each of the petitioner's issues, followed by the
Agency's assessment and decision, follows.
Operating Temperature Range
On January 18, 2007 (72 FR 2340), FMCSA published a notice of
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed to amend the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Regulations to incorporate new performance standards for
EOBRs. Among other things, the NPRM proposed to require an EOBR to be
able to operate in temperatures ranging from -20 [deg]F to 120 [deg]F
(-29 [deg]C to 49 [deg]C) (72 FR 2340, at 2393).
In comments to the docket, International Truck and Engine
Corporation stated "Typical industry standards for commercial vehicles
(See Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J1455,
"Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice: Recommended Environmental
Practices for Electronic Equipment Design in Heavy-Duty Vehicle
Applications") exceed the minimum requirements stated for operating
temperature. Interior spaces are rated from-40 degrees C to +85 degrees
C. International notes that under the minimum temperature specification
there will be occasions where the EOBR may not operate until the
vehicle interior is heated (or cooled) to the operating temperature
given." Qualcomm stated "We recommend that environmental requirements
defer to industry standards for comparable equipment and not be
specified in this regulation. Specifically, SAE standard J1455--
Recommended Environmental Practices for Electronic Equipment Design in
Heavy-Duty Vehicle Applications should be referenced." TMC offered a
similar comment in a Technical Policy Advisory submitted to the docket:
"The environmental factors should be based on industry standards for
similar types of equipment."
In the April 2010 final rule, FMCSA revised the EOBR operating
temperature range to -40 [deg]C to 85 [deg]C (-40 [deg]F to 185
[deg]F). (75 FR 17208, at 17232). In doing so, the Agency referred to
the detailed discussion in Section 5.2 of the SAE standard, which
addresses temperature ranges in the forward interior of the vehicle, an
area that includes the floor, instrument panel, and headliner. The
instrument panel, discussed in Section 5.2.1, "includes the top of the
and the near vertical section carrying the instruments and steering
wheel." The applicable design guidelines for this area, shown in Table
5 of the SAE standard, include a nominal temperature range of -40
[deg]C to 85 [deg]C (-40 [deg]F to 185 [deg]F), and a top surface
temperature of -40 [deg]C to 115 [deg]C (-40 [deg]F to 240 [deg]F).\2\
\2\ The SAE standard notes that components on the top surface of
the instrument panel experience a greater heat buildup when closed
vehicles are parked in the bright sun. Heat radiated, incident
sunlight, and re-radiated energy from the windshield can cause the
temperature to build up to 115 [deg]C (240 [deg]F) in this region.
In the April 2010 final rule, the Agency adopted the nominal
temperature range of -40 [deg]C to 85 [deg]C (-40 [deg]F to 185 [deg]F)
based on the SAE standard. Qualcomm, Stakeholders, and XATA all
addressed the operating temperature range in their petitions for
reconsideration. Qualcomm's description of its concern was
representative. Qualcomm stated the final rule's EOBR temperature
operating range, -40 [deg]C to 85 [deg]C, (40 [deg]F to 185 [deg]F), is
beyond the range of the leading commercially-available systems today.
Qualcomm noted that off-the-shelf telematics and on-board recorder
systems are typically designed for -20 [deg]C to 60 [deg]C (-4 [deg]F
to 140 [deg]F), and that it would require significant added technical
features and costs in such devices to meet the requirements of the new
regulation. Qualcomm also stated that it has been providing on-board
computer systems to trucking companies operating throughout the United
States and Canada for over 20 years, and that its units have not
experienced any significant degradation in performance due to extreme
weather conditions. Qualcomm added that its devices typically support a
temperature operating range of -30 [deg]C to 70 [deg]C, (-22 [deg]F to
158 [deg]F), although some components of wireless communications
systems are specified to operate in a -20 [deg]C to 60 [deg]C (-4
[deg]F to 140 [deg]F) range. During the June 2, 2010 meeting, the
industry participants elaborated on the technical rationale for their
statements and recommendation. Among other things, they noted that the
operating temperature range is particularly important for the proper
operation of displays, batteries, and the hardware components to
support the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
802.11 wireless communications requirement.
Agency's Assessment and Decision
The -40 [deg]C to 85 [deg]C (-40 [deg]F to 185 [deg]F) operating
temperature range requirement established in the April 2010 final rule
was adopted based upon the Agency's review of the SAE standard
referenced above. However, it is not the Agency's intention to require
an EOBR to be so rugged that it is operable at extreme temperatures
that will not realistically be seen in a truck's normal operating
environment. As noted earlier, the Agency believes that drivers will be
heating or cooling the cab to more reasonable temperatures prior to
The petitioners note that there will be significant additional
costs and transitional time delays associated with the production of
EOBRs that are compliant with the operating temperature range specified
in the April 2010 final rule. The Agency does not believe that the cost
increases and time delays associated with producing EOBRs that comply
with the temperature range specified in the April 2010 rule are
commensurate with any potential benefits that might be derived from
operability of EOBRs at these extreme temperatures.
For these reasons, FMCSA amends Appendix A of Sec. 395.16 to
delete the requirement for a specific operating temperature range.
In the 2007 NPRM, FMCSA proposed to require that EOBRs be capable
of transferring records of duty status (RODS) using either the USB 2.0
or the RS-232 wired communication standards, as well as IEEE 802.11g or
Bluetooth wireless communication standards. The NPRM did not specify
the type of USB connector.
Most of the comments received expressed a preference for wireless
standards, rather than wired. Of those that addressed wired standards,
the main concern was that the RS-232 standard was outdated. No
commenters addressed the type of USB connector.
Based upon the best information available to the Agency at the
time, the final rule requires (1) a single USB compliant interface
featuring a Type B connector, and (2) that the USB interface must (a)
comply with USB V1.1 and V2.0 USB signaling standards, and (b)
implement the Mass Storage class (08h) for software driverless
All petitioners requested that FMCSA reconsider the requirement for
a Type B connector. They noted that, although many EOBRs and related
devices on the market support USB, these devices generally use a Type A
connector. Very few, if any, EOBRs in the marketplace today would meet
the final rule's requirement, and there would be significant added
costs to retrofit current units, or to replace them with new devices
that are Type B connector compliant. The petitioners noted that if the
regulation were to be amended to permit the use of Type A connectors,
existing devices would be immediately compliant with this provision.
Agency's Assessment and Decision
FMCSA amends Appendix A, Paragraph 2.2, to delete the requirement
for a Type B connector, and replaces it with a requirement for a Type A
connector. Although the Type B connector has sometimes been used to
connect portable and handheld computing devices to printers, the Type A
connector is much more appropriate for a computer-to-computer (or EOBR-
to-computer) communications interface.
XATA requests that FMCSA more clearly define the frequency,
duration, and availability for capture of five EOBR Diagnostic Event
Codes listed in Table 3 of Appendix A. Those codes are Low Voltage
(LOWVLT), Battery Low (BATLOW), Communications Error (COMERR), Display
Error (DYPERR), and Keyboard Error (KEYERR). The first two of these
diagnostic events could occur when a vehicle is being started during
cold weather, but would be resolved when the vehicle is warmed up. The
third diagnostic events could occur when a CMV is operating in areas
with limited cellular carrier coverage. [XATA notes that truckload
motor carriers operate on irregular routes and in areas of the country
where cellular communications coverage is sparse, and asks FMCSA to
clarify how frequently gaps in coverage would have to occur to trigger
an EOBR error report. [XATA is also concerned that the fourth and fifth
diagnostic events, associated with malfunctions of the EOBR display and
the keyboard or input device, are not sufficiently defined in the final
rule to indicate what conditions needed to be reported.]]
Agency's Assessment and Decision
FMCSA agrees with XATA that there is a need to clarify thresholds
and frequencies for the diagnostic events that would trigger fault
codes for these various conditions. The Agency is aware that CMVs are
equipped with sensors to detect these diagnostic events, and that
setting or adjusting the reporting thresholds would be accomplished
though software revisions. In contrast, the resolution of the
petitioners' questions concerning the operating temperature range and
the USB connector must be implemented through the EOBR hardware.
changes (operating temperature range and USB connecter) take
considerably more lead time to address than the software changes that
are the subject of XATA's request. Therefore, the Agency has determined
that it would be more appropriate to consider the fault-code reporting
thresholds during the implementation period prior to the June 4, 2012
compliance date of the final rule. Prior to the compliance date the
Agency will make a determination if it is necessary to have a separate
rulemaking or other regulatory action to address this matter.
Additional Data Transfer Options
XATA recommended that FMCSA consider adding an additional option
for EOBR data transfer that would use the internet or internet-enabled
technology. XATA's main concern is that this method would provide a
longer-term solution than the wired and wireless methods specified in
the final rule. Although this requested option would not take the place
of the data transfer requirements specified in the April 2010 final
rule, it could provide an alternative method, although it would require
safety officials to be trained and provided the appropriate
communications hardware to take advantage of it.
Agency's Assessment and Decision
FMSCA acknowledges the importance of using communications and data-
transfer methods that are robust and have long-term implementability.
The Agency is aware that some providers of EOBRs and support services
currently use internet (Web) based storage and archiving of Hours of
Service records. Unlike the fault-codes question, the resolution of
this matter relates to the availability of communications hardware and
software for roadside safety officials, rather than for the EOBR
itself. The Agency will make a determination if it is necessary to have
a separate rulemaking or other regulatory action to address this matter
prior to the June 4, 2012 compliance date of the final rule.
FMCSA has notified Qualcomm Incorporated, XATA Corporation, and the
group of industry stakeholders of the disposition of their respective
petitions. Copies of these letters have been placed in the docket.
Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
Administrative Procedure Act
If an agency determines that the prior notice and opportunity for
public comment on a rule normally required by the Administrative
Procedure Act are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public
interest (the so-called "good cause" finding), it may publish the
rule without providing such notice and opportunity for comment. (See 5
U.S.C. 553 (b).) The amendments made by this final rule make changes to
correct inadvertent errors and to respond to petitions for
reconsideration. For these reasons, FMCSA finds good cause that notice
and public comment are unnecessary. Further, the Agency finds good
cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 (d) (3) to make the amendments effective upon
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT
Regulatory Policies and Procedures
FMCSA has determined that this action is not a significant
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 or within
the meaning of Department of Transportation regulatory policies and
procedures. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) did not review
this document. We expect the final rule will have minimal costs;
therefore, a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354, 5 U.S.C.
601 et seq.), requires agencies to consider the impact of regulations
on small businesses, small non-profit organizations, and small
governmental jurisdictions, unless the Agency determines that a rule is
not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial
number of small entities (SEISNOSE). This rule will not have a
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
This rulemaking does not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as
defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532, et
seq.), that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $140.8
million or more in any 1 year.
Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2)
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation,
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.
Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)
FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, Protection
of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. We
determined that this rulemaking does not concern an environmental risk
to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children.
Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)
This rulemaking will not affect a taking of private property or
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630,
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected
Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
FMCSA analyzed this rule in accordance with the principles and
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. We determined that this
rulemaking does not create a substantial direct effect on the States,
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various
levels of government.
Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)
The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do
not apply to this action.
Paperwork Reduction Act
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3520), a Federal Agency must consider the impact of paperwork and other
information collection burdens imposed on the public. FMCSA has
determined that no new information collection requirements are
associated with the technical amendments to this final rule.
National Environmental Policy Act
FMCSA analyzed this final rule for the purpose of the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and
determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1 the National
Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures and Policy for
Considering Environmental Impacts, published March 1, 2004 (69 FR
9680), that this action does not have any effect on the quality of the
environment. Therefore, this final rule is categorically excluded from
further analysis and documentation in an environmental assessment or
environmental impact statement under FMCSA Order 5610.1, paragraph 6.x
of Appendix 2. The CE under paragraph 6.x relates to regulations
implementing procedures for the issuance, amendment, revision
and rescission of Federal motor carrier regulations (e.g., the
establishment of procedural rules that would provide general guidance
on how the agency manages its notice-and-comment rulemaking
proceedings, including the handling of petitions for rulemakings,
waivers, exemptions, and reconsiderations, and how it manages
delegations of authority to carry out certain rulemaking functions.). A
Categorical Exclusion Determination is available for inspection or
copying in the Regulations.gov website listed under ADDRESSES.
FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended
(CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing
regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity
requirement since it has no effect on the environment.
Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)
FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13211, Actions
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply,
Distribution, or Use. We determined that it is not a "significant
energy action" under that Executive Order because it is not
economically significant and is not likely to have an adverse effect on
the supply, distribution, or use of energy.
List of Subjects
49 CFR Part 385
Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety, Motor
carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping.
49 CFR Part 395
Highway safety, Incorporation by reference, Motor carriers,
Reporting and recordkeeping.
In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA amends title 49, Code of
Federal Regulations, chapter III, as follows:
PART 385--SAFETY FITNESS PROCEDURES
1. The authority citation for part 385 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 113, 504, 521(b), 5105(e), 5109, 13901-
13905, 31133, 31135, 31136, 31137(a), 31144, 31148, and 31502; Sec.
113(a), Pub. L. 103-311; Sec. 408, Pub. L. 104-88; Sec. 350, Pub. L.
107-87; and 49 CFR 1.73.
2. In Sec. 385.807, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
Sec. 385.807 Notice and issuance of remedial directive.
(a) Following the close of the compliance review described in Sec.
385.805, FMCSA will issue the motor carrier a written notice of
remedial directive and proposed determination of unfitness. FMCSA will
issue the notice and proposed determination as soon as practicable, but
not later than 30 days after the close of the review.
* * * * *
3. In Sec. 385.815, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:
Sec. 385.815 Exemption for AOBRD users.
* * * * *
(e) The exemption granted under this section shall not apply to
CMVs manufactured on or after June 4, 2012.
PART 395--HOURS OF SERVICE OF DRIVERS
4. The authority citation for part 395 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 31133, 31136, 31151, and 31502; and 49 CFR
5. In Appendix A to part 395:
a. Revise paragraph 2.2, and
b. Remove and reserve paragraph 220.127.116.11 to read as follows:
Appendix A to Part 395--Electronic On-Board Recorder Performance
* * * * *
2.2 Wired. EOBRs must be capable of transferring RODS using the
"Universal Serial Bus Specification (Revision 2.0)" (incorporated
by reference, see Sec. 395.18). Each EOBR device must implement a
single USB compliant interface featuring a Type A connector. The USB
interface must implement the Mass Storage class (08h) for driverless
* * * * *
* * * * *
Issued on: September 7, 2010.
Anne S. Ferro,
[FR Doc. 2010-22736 Filed 9-10-10; 8:45 am]
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