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Russell Nemetz New Spending Bill Includes ELD Delay for Livestock Haulers
by Russell Nemetz, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: February 20, 2019

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The border wall dispute grabbed all the headlines about the government spending bill that Congress passed last week, but tucked in the legislation was one helpful provision for livestock haulers: An electronic logging device implementation delay until September 30, 2019.

Over the long term, Congress needs to fix the overly-restrictive Hours of Service rules.

But an additional delay provides some welcome relief.

This issue is top priority of many U.S. livestock organizations like the NCBA.

NCBA has asked the following of Congress and the Department of Transportation:

• Delay ELD Enforcement for Livestock Haulers: The current ELD enforcement deadline needs to be delayed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) no less than one year to allow adequate time for industry concerns to be addressed as well as necessary educational training on the actual ELDs and livestock exemptions.

• Provide Increased Flexibility within HOS: Hours of Service (HOS) rules for livestock haulers must be made more flexible so that drivers can safely do their jobs while preserving the welfare of the animals.Uncertainty About New FMCSA Guidance

In June 2017, FMSCSA posted a new interpretation regarding HOS rules specific to livestock haulers: When transporting livestock and using the exemption, the hours of service regulations do not apply to any work that is conducted within a 150 air mile radius (about 172 road miles) of the source of the livestock. That includes loading and waiting time, as well as any driving time that occurs within that radius. Once exiting that radius from the source of the livestock, the hours of service regulations begin to apply. From the point of exiting the 150 air mile radius, the driver can drive an additional 11 hours. Our concern is that livestock haulers - as well as law enforcement - may not be aware of the existence of this exemption that includes livestock haulers. NCBA is seeking formal guidance on this interpretation and urges a delay from the ELDs until all parties have more certainty.

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