The Electronic Logging Device Mandate and What It Means
Last year, the electronic logging device mandate, known colloquially as the ELD, was put into effect. The law limits the amount of time a commercial truck driver can drive, regulating on- and off-duty time and requiring the use of ELDs to track driving and non-driving time. Scheduled to go into effect on December 18th, 2017, the mandate was created to create a safer work environment for drivers, allowing them to more easily and accurately track, manage, and share duty status records.
However, in recent months, several equine industry groups and associations have begun to urge horsemen to speak out against the impending law; it could, they argue, negatively impact the transportation of horses and other livestock. Since taking action, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has allowed those who haul agricultural commodities, such as horses, a 90-day waiver before needing to comply with the law.
The two industry groups expressing dissatisfaction are the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the American Horse Council (AHC). They have joined other agricultural organizations in requiring that the Department of Transportation grant a one-year delay in enforcing these rules. They argue that the new regulations, which require ten consecutive hours off duty, will negatively affect the welfare of the animals being transported. Stopping for long periods of time can have a detrimental effect on the animal being hauled.
Transporting horses can be difficult, and these new regulations complicate the already-delicate process. As of March 13th, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted agriculture industry truckers another 90-day reprieve from complying with the new rule. However, these stop-gap measures are not enough to satisfy drivers—further action is planned by the AHC and AQHA.