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ELD waiver

ELD Waived

Livestock haulers granted another waiver for regulations requiring use of electronic logging devices.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) March 13 granted drivers who haul livestock an additional waiver from a regulation that could have negative effects on animal well-being, a move applauded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

A DOT rule issued in 2015 required truckers of commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce to replace their paper driving logs with electronic logging devices by Dec. 18, 2017 (see “Rules of the Road,” our cover story for the March 2018 Angus Beef Bulletin). In September 2017, DOT provided an initial 90-day waiver — until March 18 — from the mandate for livestock haulers. This action extends the waiver further.

A final decision for permanent exemption is still pending.

“The ELD mandate imposes restrictions upon the agriculture industry that lack flexibility necessary for the unique realities of hauling agriculture commodities,” stated Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. “If the agriculture industry had been forced to comply by the March 18 deadline, live agricultural commodities, including plants and animals, would have been at risk of perishing before they reached their destination. The 90-day extension is critical to give DOT additional time to issue guidance on hours of service and other ELD exemptions that are troubling for agriculture haulers.”

ELDs, which can cost $200-$1,000 plus a $30-$50 monthly fee, record driving time, engine hours, vehicle movement and speed, miles driven, and location. They electronically report that data to federal and state inspectors and supposedly help the DOT enforce its hours of service (HOS) regulation. That rule limits commercial truckers to 11 hours of driving time and 14 consecutive hours of on-duty time in any 24-hour period. Once drivers reach that limit, they must pull over and wait 10 hours before driving again.

DOT did exempt from the HOS regulations and from any distance-logging requirements truckers hauling livestock within a 150-air-mile-radius of the location at which animals were loaded, but the exemption is not uniformly recognized and its implementation varies by state.

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Editor’s Note: This article was compiled with news releases by NCBA, NPPC and USDA.







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