Bull Haulers Seek Exemption from ELDs
December 18, 2017 is the looming deadline for truck operators to be in full compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device mandate. One group feels lawmakers have missed a very important aspect of how ELD’s will work with their particular cargo.
The purpose of ELD’s is to prevent drivers from operating beyond their hour of service limit. Cattle and livestock haulers are hoping for an ELD exemption, saying there is no common sense wiggle-room for those carrying live animals.
“There was no thought given to the living, breathing commodities,” said Steve Hilker, with Hilker Trucking, Inc, in Cimarron, Kan. “There is no advantage (of the mandate) to livestock haulers.”
“Anything hauled over 500 miles is where it’s going to really affect us. We just don’t have the ability to unload for 10 hours. What happened is it’s a giant one-size-fits-all mandate. Nobody was at the table saying ‘What about the livestock hauler?’” Hilker said.
Hilker and many others in the livestock industry are headed to Washington D.C. to make lawmakers aware of the need for exceptions in the mandate. The oilfield industry has received an exemption allowing drivers to break up the 10-hour downtime, to include loading, unloading and other industry wait times.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is solidly opposed to the ELD mandate, calling in unwarranted surveillance of truck drivers. Others, such as the Trucking Alliance and American Trucking Associations, are in favour of the mandate but do acknowledge it’s not one size fits all and some sectors need exemptions.