Electronic Logging Devices
Livestock haulers are responsible for the daily transportation of millions of animals. The welfare and safety of these animals, together with the safety of other drivers on the road, are the industry’s top priorities. Because livestock, such as pigs, are vulnerable to health issues triggered by temperature changes, long-established industry standards prohibit drivers from stopping while hauling animals.
As part of the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act mandated that drivers of commercial motor vehicles replace their paper logs with Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) by Dec. 18, 2017. Costing between $200 and $1,000 plus a $30 to $50 monthly service fee, ELDs record driving time and monitor engine hours, vehicle movement and speed, miles driven and location information and report the data electronically to federal and state inspectors.
ELDs currently are not compatible with the unique requirements of livestock haulers, and as a result, for many routes, drivers will be forced to choose between arbitrary Department of Transportation (DOT) Hours of Service limits and the welfare of the animals in their care. For livestock haulers, DOT provides an exemption from the HOS rules for transit within a 150 air-mile radius of the farm where the animals were loaded. While some states recognize this exemption all year long, others recognize it for only a few months of the year even though livestock are in transit and harvested year-round, creating an unworkable patchwork of conflicting state transportation standards for livestock haulers.
- NPPC is seeking a limited exemption for livestock haulers from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Dec. 18, 2017, Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate
- The fiscal 2018 federal spending law delayed the ELD mandate for livestock truckers until Oct. 1,2018
- DOT is considering NPPC’s request for an exemption while also developing additional regulatory options for livestock haulers, which would provide increased flexibility within the rules to address highway safety and the specific animal welfare requirements of livestock haulers
- On August 3, 2018 DOT published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to review, revise and update its HOS rules.
- Under current DOT Hours of Service (HOS) rules, a commercial vehicle operator may only drive for 11 hours and can only be on duty for 14 consecutive hours in any 24-hour period
- Once drivers reach this limit, they are required to immediately pullover and wait 10 hours before they can continue driving
- For livestock haulers, DOT provides an exemption from the HOS rules for transit within a 150 air-mile radius of the farm where the animals were loaded
- While some states recognize this exemption all year long, others recognize it for only a few months of the year even though livestock are in transit and harvested year-round, creating an unworkable patchwork