Livestock haulers exempted from using ELDs until further notice

Dec 16, 2018 in News, Regulations and road rules

A few days ago, this week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that drivers hauling livestock and insects are free to run on paper logs instead of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) until further notice.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also noted in their update, that livestock and insect transporters do not need to carry any additional documentation about this exemption of the rule.

This move by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is intended to remove the lingering uncertainty surrounding whether livestock and insects haulers need to adopt an Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) or not.

The Electronic Logging Device mandate requires commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service records of duty status to use electronic logging devices.

As part of the budget package for the 2018 fiscal year, the Congress exempted drivers hauling livestock and insects from the Electronic Logging Devices compliance through September 30th. As we wrote in our previous article, the Congress extended the exemption even further through December 7thwith a short-term, stopgap spending measure meant to give Congress extra time to clear other spending bills and ward off a government shutdown. Bills to fund the Department of Transportation in both the House and Senate included a provision to give livestock and bee haulers until September 30, 2019, to adopt electronic logging devices. Lawmakers then pushed another brief spending bill and the deadline was moved yet again to December 21st.

However, there is still an uncertainty over whether Congress and President Trump can and will agree on a deal to fund the government for the 2019 fiscal year or whether that deal will include an extension of the Electronic Logging Device waiver for drivers hauling livestock and insects.

According to the news in some social media websites (which might be just some rumors) – there are roadside inspectors who had been incorrectly telling drivers hauling livestock and insects that they needed an Electronic Logging Device and are not exempted from the ELD rule. It is still unclear if these rumors are legit and if any citations have been issued.

Due to these issues, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is allowing livestock haulers to continue to run on paper logs until the issue is sorted out long term.

Including the livestock haulers ELD exemption, the electronic logging devices rule has couple of additional exemptions including drivers who use timecard exception – they are not required to keep records of duty status or use ELDs. Additionally, the following drivers are not required to use ELDs: 

  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.
  • Drivers who are required to keep RODS not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the roadway.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000. (As reflected on the vehicle registration)