Delay in the Enforcement of Electronic logging devices (ELDs) Also, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): Do you need one in Oklahoma?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the following in a notice announcing another delay in ELD enforcement for livestock haulers:

“[T]ransporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD at this time.  This statutory exemption was extended through December 7, 2018, by the continuing resolution and will remain in place until further notice. Drivers do not need to carry any documentation regarding this exemption.”

For now, equine haulers have a reprieve from the ELD requirements, but it is entirely possible a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may still be needed.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and hauling horses. 

Oklahoma law states “[e]very person who operates, drives or is in actual physical control of a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle” is a commercial driver and must have a valid CDL.  See Okla. Stat. tit. 47, § 1-108.  The obvious next question is what are Class A, B and C commercial vehicles?  The following summarizes each of the Oklahoma defined commercial vehicles that require a CDL.  (See Okla. Stat. tit. 47, § 1-107.1 – 1-107.3):

  • Class A Commercial Motor Vehicle – Vehicle and trailer (except those meeting a farm use exemption outlined below) with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of twenty-six thousand one (26,001) or more pounds where the trailer being towed is in excess of ten thousand (10,000) pounds.
  • Class B Commercial Motor Vehicle – Any vehicle (except those meeting a farm use exemption outlined below) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of twenty-six thousand one (26,001) or more pounds.
  • Class C Commercial Motor Vehicle – Any vehicle required to have a hazardous material placard or a sixteen (16) or more passenger vehicle that includes the driver.

Both the GCWR and the GVWR is the manufacturer’s designated loaded weight for the vehicle and/or trailer.  According to the Code, if there is no manufacturer GCWR it is to be calculated by “adding the gross vehicle weight rating of the power unit and the total weight of the towed unit and any load.”  Okla. Stat. tit. 47, § 1-120.1.  Under normal circumstances, Class A and Class B commercial vehicles are most relevant to the hauling of horses.

As noted above, certain vehicles and/or trailers entitled to a farm use classification do not require a CDL.  Any single farm vehicle or combination of farm vehicle and trailer with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of more than twenty-six thousand one (26,001) pounds must meet each of the following to be exempt from a CDL. (See Okla. Stat. tit. 47, § 1-107.4):

  • Has a farm tag,
  • “controlled and operated by a farmer, his or her family or employees,”
  • “used to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies or any combination of those materials to or from a farm,”
  • “not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier, and
  • “used within one hundred fifty (150) air miles of the person’s farm… .”

In summary, while the enforcement of the Federal ELD requirement has been delayed, haulers need to pay careful attention to the CDL requirements.  Unless there is a valid farm use exemption, Class A and B commercial vehicles will require a CDL.

This blog post does not constitute legal advice and is intended to be used for educational purposes only.

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