Horses

FMSCA Taking Comments On Electronic Logging Devices For Truck Drivers

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Trailers line up at the Tewksbury Trail Association Trail Pace. New rules regarding electronic logging devices for commercial horse haulers, are now set to go into effect in March, 2018. Credits: Lillian Shupe
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The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (OOIDA) has requested an exemption from the new electronic logging device (ELD) requirements for motor carriers considered to be a small transportation trucking business.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is accepting comments on the request until Feb. 1. As of Jan. 21, more than 2,200 comments had been received, many for livestock and horse owners.

The FMCSA already granted a 90-day extension of new electronic logging device requirements as it applies to agricultural haulers, including horse transporters. Horsemen have until mid-March to comply unless another extension is granted.

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The American Horse Council (AHC) and other equestrian and livestock groups had requested a one-year extension.

For other commercial drivers the rule went into effect on Dec. 18.

According to the FMCSA website: OOIDA requested an exemption to allow small trucking businesses that do not have a carrier safety rating of “unsatisfactory,” and can document a proven history of safety performance with no attributable at-fault crashes, to complete paper records of duty status (RODS) instead of using an ELD device. OOIDA believes that the exemption would not have any adverse impacts on operational safety as motor carriers and drivers would remain subject to the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations as well as the requirements to maintain paper RODS. FMCSA requests public comment on OOIDA's application for exemption.

Those commenting argue it is not feasible for drivers stop to rest after a set amount of time when they have a trailer full of live animals. The rules could also require drivers to get a CDL if they haul to horse shows that offer prize money, even if they show as a hobby, several people commented.

Other trucking company owners commented that they have been using the electronic logging devices for several months and productivity has dropped, resulting in lost wages and increased stress among the drivers. Some reported technical problems with the devices.

See https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FMCSA-2017-0356-0002 to read the comments or submit a comment online.  

The AHC will continue to petition for an enforcement delay, to be followed by a waiver and/or limited exemptions from compliance with the final rule on ELDs, and specifically the expected Hours of Service (HOS).

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