On March 13, 2018 the U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the electronic logging device (ELD) rule for agriculture related transportation. In addition, during this time period, the FMCSA will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours of service (HOS) exemption and personal conveyance.
The FMCSA rules provide an exception for truckers involved in the transportation of horses and other animals to shows and events, as well as cars, boats and other similar items. In such cases, when the transportation in question is not business related (neither for compensation, nor where the driver is engaged in an underlying business related to such move), none of the regulatory requirements apply, even if prize or scholarship money is offered. The exceptions apply to HOS, ELD and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) rules unless required by the driver’s home state.
Frank Botta, Chair of The Lynch Law Group’s Transportation Practice and President of the Transportation Lawyers Association helps local, regional and national transportation and logistics companies remain in compliance with with the ever-changing regulations of the industry. In response to the March 13th waiver announcement, Botta said, “The FMCSA has indicated that national compliance rates are strong now and consistently improving, and that the federal agency is very focused on the unique work of the agriculture community. This 90-day period will allow the FMCSA time to publish more helpful guidance to assist operators.”
Full Enforcement of the ELD rule begins April 1, 2018
Carriers who do not have ELD when required will be placed out-of-service. The driver will remain out-of-service for ten hours in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance criteria. At some point, to facilitate compliance, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop and should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website provides more information and guidance to assist you in determining which exceptions and exemptions may apply to your situation.