Posted 2018-01-31 2:15 PM (#171223) Subject: HOW THE ELD MANDATE WILL IMPACT THE HORSE INDUSTRY
“Not For Hire” is Not Enough – How the ELD Mandate Will Impact the Horse Industry As a breeder, owner, trainer or competitor in the horse industry, it is important to understand the implications of the ELD Mandate that will be hitting the transportation industry in December of 2017. The facts are that unless we all speak up you may be required to install an electronic logging device (ELD) in your truck. There are some exemptions in place for farm or agricultural hauling where an ELD would not be required. However, many of the rigs used for hauling horses and the activities horse owners participate in, especially those that frequently travel to horse shows, fall outside the allowed exemptions.
What is the ELD Mandate? In 2012, President Obama signed the bill “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century. A part of this bill included a provision requiring the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) to develop a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) on commercial vehicles.
Do we have to comply since we are hauling horses, not cattle or other livestock? Yes, horses are livestock and are specifically listed in the transportation bill language. It is not just the horse industry that is facing the ELD Mandate. Families that show cattle, pigs and other livestock and travel long distances to show and compete will be impacted as well. It will also impact any other type of activity or hobby that requires a large vehicle and trailer and where there is the potential to win money in competitions. The ELD Mandate requires that your vehicle must be fitted with a device under the following conditions:
Your vehicle is a commercial vehicle (see below)
Your activities fall outside of the exemptions allowed for agriculture and livestock transportation. Most who show horses will fall outside of the exemption requirements. (see below)
You are required to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License due to the weight of your truck and trailer (see below)
The “Not For Hire” myth: It is not uncommon to see “Not For Hire” graphics on trucks and horse trailers. The idea behind this is to avoid certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. This is an old fable that does not protect those hauling horses from fines for non-compliance. A “Not For Hire” sign on your rig will not protect you if it is determined that your truck and trailer fit into the commercial category or are being used for commercial purposes. Nor will it protect you if you are driving a vehicle and trailer that requires a commercial license.
A recreational vehicle exemption does not always apply: Living quarters horse trailers can be classified as recreational vehicles for private use. This classification exempts both the truck and trailer from being considered commercial as well as the requirements for the driver to obtain a commercial driver’s license. However, if an officer or inspector determines that the truck and trailer is being used in “furtherance of a commercial enterprise”, then the driver and vehicle are out of compliance with FMCSA regulations which can result in fines and being detained for an extended period. For example, we have been made aware of situations where the owners of truck and trailers stopped by the Highway Patrol or other inspectors, were required to both obtain a Department of Transportation (DOT) number for their vehicle, and find a driver with a commercial driver’s license in order to resume their trip. In these cases, once the ELD Mandate is in effect, the drivers could also have been required to purchase and install an ELD unit. (see below for clarification about the meaning of “furtherance of a commercial enterprise”)
What does an ELD do? The ELD or electronic logging device synchronizes with the engine of a vehicle and keeps track of hours of service. It logs driving time, vehicle speed, routes, and keeps track of mandated rest periods as well as other data points. Once the vehicle is in motion and reaches 5 miles per hour, the ELD keeps track of time for the next 14 hours – nonstop. Under the standard ELD regulations, there are no provisions to account for traffic, fueling, or loading and unloading. In those 14 hours, drivers are only allowed to drive for 11 hours. Because of this, drivers are forced to drive as much as they can during the 14 hours once the clock on the ELD starts.
What constitutes a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) classification?
Are you writing off your truck or trailer as a business loss or expense on your tax returns? Tax write offs for your truck and trailer would make them fall under the commercial classification.
Are your truck and/or trailer being used for your business? If your truck or trailer is being used for your business, they fall under the commercial classification. If you are a trainer, your truck and trailer is used for business, there’s no doubt about it. If you are a non-pro or amateur competitor, your truck and trailer can be considered as used for business (see “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” explanation below). If you are a non-pro or amateur and breed horses and sell them, your truck and trailer are considered as used for business.
Do you only haul your own horses? If not and if you collect payment, (for example splitting fuel costs) to haul a friend or client’s horse to a show, to the trainer, to the vet, or to the breeder, your truck and trailer are considered commercial vehicles.
Have you won money competing with your horse or a client’s horse? Even though most often competing with horses is not profitable for a non-pro when calculating all the costs, the FMCSA could consider money won at a horse show or event, a profit. They can also consider hauling to an event with the intent or hopes of winning some money, as pursuing a profit. This definition of “profit” then classifies your truck and trailer as commercial.
Do you have sponsors? Do you have their stickers on your truck or trailer? Just about everyone knows a roper, rodeo or horse show contestant who has a “day job” (horseshoer as an example) that spends part of their time traveling to events to compete. In many cases, especially with rodeo events, (some associations have strict rules about sponsorships and others do not) they also have sponsors, whether its ropes, saddle pads, clothing or other equipment. Those sponsorships qualify as “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” and then puts them in the commercial category.
If your vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of more than 10,000 pounds and is used for your business or with the intent to make a profit (see “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” below”), or involved in interstate commerce, like going to horse shows out of your home state, it then falls into the commercial vehicle classification by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
What “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” means: The FMCSA rule has some language that is far reaching with significant ramifications for horse enthusiasts. The category “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” is one of the qualifications considered when determining whether a driver and their truck and trailer fall under the commercial classification and apply to the scenarios we have listed above. Here’s the information as outlined on the FMCSA website’s Q&A section: “ Question 21: Does the exemption in §390.3(f)(3) for the “occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise” apply to persons who occasionally use CMVs to transport cars, boats, horses, etc., to races, tournaments, shows or similar events, even if prize money is offered at these events? Guidance: The exemption would apply to this kind of transportation, provided: (1) The underlying activities are not undertaken for profit, i.e., (a) prize money is declared as ordinary income for tax purposes, and (b) the cost of the underlying activities is not deducted as a business expense for tax purposes; and, where relevant; (2) corporate sponsorship is not involved. Drivers must confer with their State of licensure to determine the licensing provisions to which they are subject.”
Do I need a Commercial Driver’s License? Your truck and trailer can be considered a commercial vehicle without the requirement that you obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). However, you will need to obtain a CDL if your vehicle fits the following categories:
Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. For example, if your dually has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds and your horse trailer has a GVWR more than 16,000 pounds, a commercial license is required.
Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds.
What is the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)?
The GVWR is the value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of a single vehicle or combination of vehicles, or the registered gross weight.
What is the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)?
The GCWR is the value specified by the manufacturer as the GVWR of the power unit plus the GVWR of the towed unit or units, or the combined registered weight of the power unit plus the towed unit(s). The GCWR includes the passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle, plus the weight of the trailer and cargo in the trailer.
What are the ongoing requirements for a Commercial Driver’s License? After passing the written and driving examination for a commercial license, including other steps such as a special medical examination, drug testing, and vehicle inspections, there are ongoing requirements for driving a vehicle that fall under the commercial classification. Each state has their own set of regulations in addition to the federal code so it is important to understand the laws in your state in regards to a commercial license. Do I need to have a Department of Transportation (DOT) number? Your vehicle may require a USDOT (Federal) number if your vehicle and travel meet the following conditions:
Your truck and trailer are considered commercial vehicles. This applies if you use your truck and trailer for business or for “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” (see above).
The GVWR is over 10,000 pounds
AND if you travel into other states
Depending on the state in which you live, you may also be required to obtain a State DOT if your truck and trailer are considered commercial vehicles. HOS or Hours of Service: Most drivers of commercial vehicles must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service. Hours of Service require that drivers can only be on the road for 11 hours of a 14 hour shift. However, with the ELD, and the fact that the machines start recording time from the moment wheels move past 5 miles per hour, drivers are not able to make allowances for traffic, loading and unloading, and taking a longer rest, or breaking up rest time. There are some exceptions to compliance with Hours of Service. They are listed below. ROD or Record of Duty: The Record of Duty (ROD) is a log book that every driver of a commercial vehicle must maintain and keep on file for 6 months. The following information must be logged into the ROD:
The status for each 24-hour period
Time must be recorded in duplicate
Time for Off Duty
Time spent sleeping
Time on duty but not driving
Each change in duty status that is recorded on the log must also include the name of the city/town/village and state.
Other supporting documentation must also be maintained to coincide with the ROD (log book) these include toll receipts, fuel receipts, and other documentation.
If you have a commercial vehicle and your activities fall outside of the exemptions for farming and agriculture, you will be required to install an ELD
If you have a Commercial Driver’s License and therefore are required to follow the Hours of Service and keep a Record of Duty, you will be required to install an ELD
Posted 2018-02-02 2:02 PM (#171243 - in reply to #171223) Subject: RE: HOW THE ELD MANDATE WILL IMPACT THE HORSE INDUSTRY
Location: Omaha nebraska
Quick question ? As I search the trailer ads , there are some trailers that have the dealers names branded all over the trailers. Could this be interpreted as advertising or sponsorship per dot guidelines as stated in op ?
Posted 2018-02-02 2:40 PM (#171244 - in reply to #171223) Subject: RE: HOW THE ELD MANDATE WILL IMPACT THE HORSE INDUSTRY
Location: Central PA
Technically NO...unless they are giving you money to advertise for them. It's kinda like all the car dealers putting their stickers on the tailgates of trucks. An officer should totally understand this unless he or she is a total JA but most of them are plesant with you if you are with them.
Posted 2018-02-02 3:58 PM (#171246 - in reply to #171223) Subject: RE: HOW THE ELD MANDATE WILL IMPACT THE HORSE INDUSTRY
Location: Omaha nebraska
I have neighbors who put their name and city on the nose of their LQ trailer . They were pulled over by the Iowa dot given a ticket for not having a med card or log book. Reason was for having their name and city on trailer it was considered commerce
Posted 2018-03-02 8:00 AM (#171349 - in reply to #171223) Subject: RE: HOW THE ELD MANDATE WILL IMPACT THE HORSE INDUSTRY
UPDATE!! - Language changes to protect horse owners transporting their own horses... Agricultural Exceptions and Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Rules
General Applicability of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Requirements: A CDL is required if:
The vehicle has a GVWR or GVW of 26,001 pounds or more; or the vehicle is
A combination of vehicles (truck and trailer) with a GVWR or GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more, inclusive of a towed unit with a GVWR or GVW of more than 10,000 pounds.
However, if the vehicle is being used for a non-commercial purpose, such as recreational vehicle, or a vehicle that is involved in transportation similar, such as transporting horses and other animals to shows and events, as well as cars, boats and other similar items, a CDL may not be required, unless it is required by the State Licensing Agencies. If the underlying business is not related to that transportation, then it is considered non-commercial. This includes any unrelated agricultural business, such as a cattle rancher that owns horses for personal use, unrelated to that cattle ranch. Employers and drivers who transport horses and other animals to shows and events, as well as cars, boats and other similar items, in a vehicle that has GVWR or GVW of 26,001 pounds or more; or the vehicle is a combination of vehicles (truck and trailer) with a GVWR or GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more, inclusive of a towed unit with a GVWR or GVW of more than 10,000 pounds, must comply with the licensing requirements with their State, which may or may not require a CDL. In addition, a State may, at its discretion, exempt operators of farm vehicles from the CDL requirements. The use of the farm vehiclewaiver is limited to the driver’s home State unless there is a reciprocity agreement with adjoining States.
How to Determine if a Driver is Required to have a CDL If a safety official stops a CMV transporting an agricultural commodity, to include non-processed foods, feed, fiber, or livestock, the FMCSA recommends that the driver explain that the transportation is agricultural related. If it is determined that a driver is engaged in non-agricultural related transportation or the driver does not qualify for an agricultural exemption, FMCSA recommends that the driver use the following questions to determine if they are required to have a CDL:
Is the vehicle being used for a non-commercial purpose, such as taking a personally owned animal to a show when the underlying business is unrelated?
If YES, a CDL is NOT required.
Does the vehicle have a GVWR or GVW (whichever is greater) or is it a combination (truck and trailer) with a GCWR or GCW (whichever is greater) of 10,001 pounds or more?
If NO, a CDL is NOT required.
Does the vehicle have a GVWR or GVW (whichever is greater) or a combination vehicle (truck and trailer) with a GCWR or GCW (whichever is greater) of 10,001 pounds or more, but less than 26,001 pounds?
If YES, a CDL is NOT required.
Does the vehicle have a GVWR or GVW (whichever is greater) of 26,001 pounds or more, or a combination vehicle (truck and trailer) with a GCWR or GCW (whichever is greater) of 26,001 pounds or more, inclusive of a towed unit with a GVWR or GVW of 10,000 pounds or more?