AQHA encourages one-year enforcement delay on ELD
December 22, 2017
The American Quarter Horse Association is concerned about the impending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, which goes into effect on December 18, 2017. The rule limits the amount of time a commercial truck driver can drive and mandates a specific amount of off-duty/non-driving time, and requires the use of electronic logging devices to track the driving and non-driving times.
Recently, livestock haulers were granted an additional 90 days by the Department Of Transportation to comply with the mandate. While there are some exemptions from the ELD mandate for farm and agricultural hauling, many of the rigs used for hauling horses and the activities horse owners participate in may be considered as falling outside of the exemptions.
AQHA and other livestock organizations are concerned about the regulation requiring 10 consecutive hours off duty and how that will affect the welfare of animals being transported. Livestock industry guidelines recommend that drivers avoid stops when hauling livestock, as stopping for long periods of time would have a detrimental effect on the animals being hauled.
AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines recently commented on the National Pork Producer Council's request to DOT for a waiver and exemption from the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. AQHA supports the exemption and requests a one year delay to address the additional issues created by changes to 49 CFR Part 395.
"AQHA members are involved in showing, racing, ranching, rodeos and recreation, and it is common for AQHA members to haul their horses interstate over long distances (much like other livestock haulers)," Huffhines said in his letter to the DOT. "We encourage the Department of Transportation to grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017, implementation date for the final rule on ELDs and hours of service. This will allow the department the opportunity to take appropriate steps to alleviate any unintended consequences that this mandate may have on the hauling of horses or other livestock."
Read the full letter sent by Huffhines on behalf of AQHA and the Association's members who are involved in showing, racing, ranching, rodeos and recreation.
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Overall, the Association believes more time is needed to reach out to the horse industry and ensure that industry education programs include ELD compliance and use. A one-year exemption will provide the horse industry the opportunity to educate members and allow the opportunity for the FMCSA to develop livestock-specific solutions to the ELD and underlying HOS concerns of the industry.
What members can do?
Currently there is language in the House appropriations bill that would give livestock haulers a one-year exemption to the mandate. Please contact your federal lawmakers! Encourage your Senator and Representative to support the appropriations bill with the ELD exemption.
To read more about the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices, visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov and search "ELD Rule".
View brochures created by the American Horse Council for more information on the Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Commercial Drivers Licenses.