As of December 2018, ELD requirements for livestock haulers has been suspended indefinitely. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
What is the ELD Mandate?
In 2012, President Obama signed the bill “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century. A part of this bill included a provision requiring the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) to develop a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) on commercial vehicles.
The ELD Mandate requires that your vehicle must be fitted with an electronic device under the following conditions:
- Your vehicle is a commercial vehicle.
- Your activities fall outside of the exemptions allowed for agriculture and livestock transportation. Most who show horses will fall outside of the exemption requirements.
- You are required to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License due to the weight of your truck and trailer.
- Under the FMCSA, you are required to have a log book.
Please visit the FMCSA website to determine whether or not you require an ELD.
What is an ELD?
The ELD or electronic logging device synchronizes with the engine of a vehicle and keeps track of hours of service. It logs driving time, vehicle speed, routes, and keeps track of mandated rest periods as well as other data points. Once the vehicle is in motion and reaches 5 miles per hour, the ELD keeps track of time for the next 14 hours – nonstop. Under the standard ELD regulations, there are no provisions to account for traffic, fueling, or loading and unloading. In those 14 hours, drivers are only allowed to drive for 11 hours. Because of this, drivers are forced to drive as much as they can during the 14 hours once the clock on the ELD starts.
When the 14-hour limit has been reached, the ELD indicates to the driver that they must stop and “rest” for 10 consecutive hours. The ELD keeps track of any “infractions” – that is, going over the 14 hours as well as vehicle speed – and has reporting functions so inspectors can review the logs and fine drivers for infractions from days past. This means that those hauling horses will be required to stop their trip once the 14-hour threshold is reached and cannot resume travel until the 10-hour rest period has passed. If the threshold is breached, the ELD makes a record that can be reviewed by authorities and you can be fined.
According to the Hours of Service outlined in the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration rules, rest breaks are mandatory in addition to the ten-hour rest period. Commercial drivers are required to take a 30-minute break within the 11 hour driving period and cannot go past 8 hours without taking a break. This mandatory break is calculated from when the vehicle starts moving and is tracked by the ELD. It does not take into account any other stops or breaks that may have occurred within the 8-hour time period. The break must be 30 consecutive minutes. A driver cannot substitute the 30-minute break with a 10-minute break and later a 20-minute break. There is no getting around this as the ELD records and stores the 30 consecutive minute break periods and will subject the driver to a penalty for a rule violation upon inspection. Additionally, the 30-minute break is included in the 14-hour time limit.
You can read more about Hours of Service, Commercial Driver’s Licenses, and whether or not this law pertains to you HERE.
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What can we do in response?
Representatives from Protect The Harvest as well as Lucas Oil have been working hard to bring these issues to light. In addition to sharing information, we have made trips to Washington DC to meet with lawmakers. There are other groups that have also been sounding the alarm about the ELD Mandate.
We need to do more and we need your help. If you have concerns about how the ELD Mandate and other regulations will impact your business or enjoying horses as a hobby, the time is now to act. Make sure to let others know about what is coming up. Share information and encourage others to do so as well. Get your local clubs and groups involved too. Most importantly, contact your Congressional Representative and let them know your concerns. They have heard from group representatives, now they need to hear from individuals, as many as possible. If we don’t act now, soon many of us including those that simply enjoy showing animals, or other hobbies that require a truck and trailer, will be required to install electronic logging devices on our vehicles.
Important Comment Period
ELD MANDATE – NEW COMMENT PERIOD OPENED BY FMCSA.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has opened a comment period regarding an exemption request for small businesses. We encourage everyone the ELD Mandate will impact to take advantage of this opportunity to voice their concerns.
The comment period was opened due to an exemption request submitted to the FMCSA by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). The OOIDA is seeking a five-year exemption for the compliance with the ELD mandate for small trucking companies. This exemption would apply to small businesses that show less than $27.5 million in yearly revenue. According to the information on the FMCSA website, the OOIDA asserts that this exemption, “…would allow small business motor carriers to maintain their current practices that have resulted in a proven safety record. The term of the requested exemption, if granted, is for five years, subject to renewal upon application.”
The OOIDA is one group of a long list that have spoken out against the ELD Mandate. We have compiled a list of the variety of groups, lawmakers and public officials that have voiced their concerns and sent letters.
Click here to view the list of concerned stakeholders
Click here to view letters of concern from stakeholders
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Link to comment section on the FMCSA website: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FMCSA-2017-0356-0002