Livestock hauler ELD exemptions continue for now

By Jennifer Dorsett

Livestock and insect haulers remain exempt for now from the electronic logging device (ELD) rule as the federal government shutdown drags on.

A notice on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said “The statutory exemption will remain in place until further notice. Drivers do not need to carry any documentation regarding this exemption.”

Livestock haulers currently had an exemption from ELDs through Dec. 21 through previous federal action. The latest notification clarifies the exemption will remain in effect during the government shutdown.

For now, livestock haulers can continue to document their hours of service (HOS) with paper logs. This has been the practice since most other truckers started following ELD rules on Dec. 18, 2017.

The exemptions were implemented after agricultural advocates pointed out animal welfare and produce quality were not fully considered at the time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration updated HOS regulations and created ELD rules.

“We welcome this clarification,” Tracy Tomascik, Texas Farm Bureau associate director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities, said. “Continuing the exemptions for now ensures the welfare and safety of livestock and livestock haulers across Texas and the country.”

Although there has been some confusion surrounding the issue, there has not been a permanent exemption from ELDs issued for livestock and insect haulers.