How Might New Trucking Regulations Impact Cattle Prices?

– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

I received a question recently concerning the impact of trucking regulations on cattle prices in Tennessee if livestock haulers have to begin using electronic logging devices (ELDs). For clarity, there is an 11-hour driving limit following ten consecutive hours off duty and a 14 hour on duty limit. These regulations did not change with the institution of ELDs.

If and when livestock haulers must begin using ELDs with the established service hours, this will increase the cost of shipping cattle from locations farther than an 11 hour drive from their final destination. It is reasonable to expect that this additional transportation cost will result in lower cattle prices in locations that face extended hauls.

The question asked was, how much will cattle prices decline if this happens? It depends on what the distance is of the haul. The worst case scenario is having a haul that is just over the limit. The livestock industries are in support of having more lenient regulations on ELDs for livestock haulers. There might also be some merit in changing hours of service regulations. I generally work more than ten hours each day.