Horses

FMCSA Clarifies Rules As They Apply To Horse Trailer Drivers

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The American Horse Council is working to address horsemen's concerns about new regulations for truck drivers. Credits: Lillian Shupe
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) followed their recent meeting with AHC staff, a meeting in response to the AHC request for clarification, by releasing two documents on the existing Commercial Driver License (CDL) regulations and how those regulations impact the horse industry. The AHC is appreciative of the horse specific efforts that FMCSA have taken to quell the concerns of our recreational enthusiasts.

The guidance titled “Agricultural Exceptions and Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Rules” and “Non-Business Related Transportation of Horses” explain how published FMCSA guidance provides an exception for the transportation of horses when the transportation in question is not business related (neither for compensation, nor where the driver is engaged in an underlying business related to the move). In these cases, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not apply, even if prize or scholarship money is offered. This includes the Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations, requirements for Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and CDL regulations, unless required by the driver’s home state. Both documents contain example scenarios that may help horse owners better understand the regulations as they exist today.

The documents can be found on the FMCSA website at;

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https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/non-business-related-transportation-horses

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/agricultural-exceptions-and-exemptions-federal-motor-carrier-safety

The AHC will continue to pursue clarifications until the industry is satisfied that there are no unintended consequences from current CDL or ELD regulations. The AHC will take action where clarifications are not sufficient, including the continued collaboration with the entire livestock industry to get a delay in ELD enforcement.

AHC staff are still compiling the industry’s concerns and questions to forward to DOT and invite people to share their comments. Additionally, DOT has established a specific e-mail address for agricultural specific questions at agricultural@dot.gov. This address will be used to generate a future F.A.Q. page.

The AHC encourages its members to share their questions to the DOT e-mail as well to better highlight the existing concerns regarding the interpretation of CDL regulations. If clarifications and the F.A.Q. fail to address the concerns of our members, then the AHC will continue their efforts and pursue both legislative and regulatory solutions.

Find AHC resources at http://www.horsecouncil.org/eld-mandate-cdl-requirements/

Contact the American Horse Council with any questions or comments.

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