Horse Hauling Confusion: Guidelines For CDLs And Electronic Logging Devices Clarified - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Horse Hauling Confusion: Guidelines For CDLs And Electronic Logging Devices Clarified

There's been a lot of confusion surrounding the new guidelines for horse and livestock hauling regarding two things: the requirement of the installation of electronic logging devices and that drivers possess a commercial drivers license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued a new set of guidelines in an effort to clear up some of the confusion.

The new guidelines were released on Feb. 24 and addressed changes to the new rules that were enacted on Dec. 18, said Director of Health and Regulatory Affairs for the American Horse Council Cliff Williamson.

Horse owners hauling horses to horse shows, rodeos, horse races and other areas where horses gather have not been required to possess specific driver's licenses or track their hours in the cab of vehicles. This changed with the December 2017 mandates.

However, the newest guidelines provide a CDL and EDL exemption for transporting horses, as well as boats, cars and other similar items, as long as the transportation is not business related, meaning the driver is not compensated nor is he engaged in a business related to the movement of animals. This means that these drivers are not required to have an electronic logging device or abide by CDL regulations (unless their home state requires it).

If drivers are in a vehicle or in a vehicle towing a trailer with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more (truck and trailer combined), they must abide by state laws, which may require drivers to possess a CDL.

There has been a lot of frustration and confusion in the livestock hauling sector, specifically the equine faction, regarding the ramifications of the electronic logging system. The equine industry is not small; it has a $102 billion impact on the United States economy annually and supports 1.4 million jobs.

The majority of horses are not transported as part of a business, yet horse owners fear that they will begin to be targeted by law enforcement because of the vehicle they drive or because of their destination. While drivers in the past may not have had to have a CDL, the 2017 guidelines would require that they have some class of CDL.

Executive Director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Collin Mooney requested information be created for the industry regarding the new laws to clear up confusion. The FMCSA has designed a website devoted to agricultural operations, which includes the transportation of agricultural commodities' exemptions and electronic logging device exemptions; sign up for the updates and alerts regarding agricultural operations information here.

Read more at Transport Topics.

Read the FMCSA Fact Sheet here.

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