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  • Henry Seaton

ELD exemptions sought for livestock haulers, filmmakers and others

With a legislative exemption uncertain, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has applied for an exemption from electronic logging devices that would apply to all haulers of livestock, including poultry, aquaculture, and insects as well as traditional livestock (Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0297). Comments are due November 30 -- less than three weeks before the ELD mandate takes effect.

The NPPC application is one of several posted in recent days as various parties rush to garner exemptions before the December 18, 2017 deadline. Among other recent exemption filings are:

  • Hub Group Trucking Inc. - Exemption to permit an an alternative grandfather period for any CMVs added to after the December 18, 2017, compliance date (FMCSA-2017-0277). Comments are due November 30.

  • Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) - Exemption for all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers providing transportation to or from a theatrical or television motion picture production site (FMCSA-2017-0298). Comments are due November 27.

  • Western Equipment Dealers Association (WEDA) - Exemption on behalf of several agricultural equipment dealer organizations and membership (FMCSA-2017-0296). Comments are due November 27.

Most ELD exemption applications to date have emphasized unusual characteristics about applicants' operations that make ELDs or certain ELD requirements unnecessary or difficult to use. However, neither NPPC nor Hub Group Trucking make much effort to justify special circumstances. NPPC essentially argues that livestock haulers are not ready and presses arguments that are more about the underlying hours-of-service rules than ELDs themselves. The Hub Group basically complains that maintaining both ELD and automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) platforms will be tedious and expensive.

The House-passed version of the government funding bill (H.R. 3354) includes a measure that would exempt livestock haulers from ELDs, but the Senate version of the bill does not include such a provision. Current federal funding does not lapse until December 8 -- 10 days before the ELD mandate kicks in -- and the long-term funding bill is unlikely to be completed much before then.

Avoid legal pitfalls

Rules of the Road offers practical help on avoiding legal pitfalls in working with customers, independent contractors, insurers, factoring companies, etc.

Many serious legal risks will go unnoticed unless you are watching for them. Don't take chances.

 Although successful food haulers already employ the common sense steps required in FDA's new transportation rule, declaring your compliance can help you stay competitive for spot-market freight. 

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