By: Wyatt Bechtel, For Farm Journal’s Pork
When President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill it also passed an extension on the electronic logging device (ELD) implementation for livestock haulers. The bill passed on March 23 included a mandate for livestock and insect haulers to have a delay until Sept. 30, 2018.
Like other delays to the ELD it is believed that granting more time for implementation by livestock haulers will allow truckers to get in compliance. The extension also gives the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) additional time to reevaluate the hours of service rule which have the potential to disrupt how livestock are hauled cross-country with new enforcement from the ELD.
Both the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supported the spending bill to be passed because of the ELD provision and other language.
“USCA’s Transportation Committee will utilize the one-year delay to continue its work with the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMCSA) and Congress to secure needed flexibility for livestock haulers in the restrictive Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules,” says USCA’s executive vice president Kelly Fogarty.
“NCBA and our affiliates have been working closely with Congress to ensure the spending bill addresses issues of concern for U.S. ranchers and beef producers, and we are glad to see our policy priorities reflected in the legislation,” says Colin Woodall, senior vice president of government affairs for NCBA.
Hours of service record-keeping requirements were in place prior to the ELD, but were difficult to enforce and could be adjusted on paper. With an ELD there is no flexibility offered for drivers.
Truckers have an hours of service limit of 11 hours of driving in a 24 hour period. Drivers can be on-duty a total of 14 hours consecutively, including the 11 hours of drive time. After 11 hours are reached, drivers must rest and be off-duty for 10 consecutive hours.
“After requesting this delay in December and receiving several short-term extensions, it is great news for our agriculture industry that implementation of ELD rules for livestock and insect haulers has been pushed to the end of September,” says Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
This latest extension follows an announcement that was made by FMCSA on March 13 that extended a previous 90 day extension by another 90 days.
For more on the ELD rules read the following stories:
- DOT Enforcement Chief Wants to Work with Livestock Industry on ELD
- Ag Commodity Transporters Get 90-day Waiver on ELD Implementation
- Transportation Fiasco Looming for Long Distance Cattle Hauls