The clock is ticking for truckers of all types to comply with the Electronic Logging Device Mandate, but a group of livestock haulers has vowed to take action to fight the regulation.
The Chairman of the Transportation Committee for the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Steve Hilker and other USCA members say that they’ll be heading to Washington during the first week of June to ask Congress to come up with a more thoughtful solution for truckers who transport live animals. Hikler also owns Kansas-based Hilker Trucking, Inc and said that the ELD Mandate “there was no thought given to the living, breathing commodities.”
The ELD Mandate goes into effect on December 18, 2017. While it doesn’t change the current Hours of Service regulations, many in the livestock hauling industry say that it would strip drivers of the “discretional wiggle room” needed to safely transport animals over long distances. Hilker hopes that his trip to Washington will convince lawmakers to make an exception from the ELD Mandate for livestock haulers.
From a letter posted on the Steve Hilker Trucking Inc Facebook page:
I’m writing you this letter as the Chairman of the Transportation Committee for the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), as well as being a founding member of the American Cattle Transporter Advisory Group (ACTAG).
As you’re probably aware, the mandate requiring on board recorders (EOBR) for all trucks manufactured after 1999 goes into effect in December 2017.
This will have a huge impact on transporting livestock. It will basically restrict a single driver to a 500 mile trip before having to unload for 10 hours. The 500 miles would be available only if the driver did nothing else before loading and there were no delays loading or in transit.
The challenges we face are huge. There’re virtually no sterile facilities available to offload and handle livestock. When they do become available it will add a significant cost to the transportation. It’s going to require more trucks to be available in an industry that struggles to find qualified help already. It’s difficult enough finding good drivers. Add to that livestock handling skills, or the willingness to learn them, and the pool we can hire from gets pretty small pretty quick.
We, at the USCA, have been working diligently for over a year to get some amendments in place for livestock transportation. With December looming, I’m pessimistic of getting them through in time. What we need is to push for an outright delay of the implementation of the EOBR requirements for livestock transportation. It would allow time for more study and the ability to get facilities and policies in place for the unloading or transferring of livestock in transit. It’s very clear that no thought was given to the idea of having a living, breathing commodity in transit. It was a “one size fits all” mandate.
We need the big guns of the industry at the table. I will be going to Washington, DC the first week of June, as part of a contingent from the USCA, to try and get this delay in implementation moved forward.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Steve Hilker, President”
Check out the Facebook post from Steve Hilker Trucking Inc below to learn more about what you can do to fight the ELD Mandate.