Contact Your Representative to Suspend the ELD Mandate
The American Quarter Horse Association requests a one-year enforcement delay to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.
January 26, 2018
American Quarter Horse Association
The American Quarter Horse Association is involved with requests to delay the impending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for one year. The mandate went into effect on December 18, 2017. At that time, livestock haulers were granted a 90-day waiver to comply with the mandate, and that waiver will expire March 18, 2018.
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.
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 not be exempt.
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 commented on the National Pork Producer Council’s request to United State Department of Transportation for a waiver and exemption from the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. AQHA supports the exemption and is pursuing 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.
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 hours of service concerns of the industry.
What can members do?
Currently there is language in the House passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that would delay the implementation of electronic logging devices for commercial motor vehicles transporting livestock and insects. Please contact your Senators and Representative to support the ELD one-year delay to give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration time to make the necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns. (Their contact information can be found here.)
Additionally, you can tune-in the American Horse Council webinar about the ELD mandate at 2 p.m. Central on February 12. The webinar will address the details of what the ELD mandate includes and who is required to have an electronic logging device. Register for the webinar here. If you can’t watch the webinar on February 12, it will be recorded and posted on the AHC website. To read more about the implementation of electronic logging devices, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov and search “ELD Rule.”
The National Cattlemen’s Beef and Texas Cattle Feeders associations have created a document to be kept in your truck to help provide proof of your exemption from the electronic logging device mandate until March 18, 2018. March 18 is the date that the exemption for agriculture and livestock haulers expires. We wanted to also share this document with our members.