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ELD Compliance
ELD Compliance

ELD compliance delayed for ag, livestock haulers

News Staff - November 21, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - Truckers hauling agriculture loads and livestock will receive an extension to comply with the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this week.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) informed industry representatives that it will be issuing a 90-day waiver of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate for all transporters of agricultural commodities, including livestock haulers. The 90-day period will begin on December 18, 2017 and end March 18, 2018.

There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S., according to the American Trucking Associations.  Research by C.J. Driscoll & Associates, a consulting firm, reported recently that up to a million trucks still do not have an ELD device. The firm reported that 60 percent of fleets interviewed had yet to switch from paper logs to ELD’s, or e-logs.

Industry organizations weighed in – all in favor of the waiver.  According to NCBA president Craig Uden, there is still major confusion surrounding the ELD mandate in such areas as the agricultural exemption on Hours of Service knowns as the 150 mile rule.  He added that the FMSCA is not prepared for the ELD rollout and that it requires more outreach from the Department of Transportation to the agricultural community.

FMCSA is set to publish a public notice in the Federal Register announcing the compliance extension, as well as a notice with fresh guidance for livestock haulers relative to both the ELD mandate and hours of service, said Joe Delorenzo, FMCSA’s director of compliance and enforcement.

The notice will include a precise definition of the drivers who will receive the 90-day waiver. Delorenzo did say the definition of a livestock hauler will lean on a definition established in the 1980’s by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which defines livestock as “…cattle, elk, reindeer, bison, horses, deer, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg-producing poultry), fish used for food and other animals designated…that are part of a foundation herd or offspring.”

It is reported the waiver’s scope will be broader than that and extend to ag haulers who don’t haul livestock.

Livestock haulers in 2015 secured a semi-permanent exemption from the 30-minute break required by hours of service regulations. Also, 2012’s MAP-21 highway funding act gave livestock haulers a more liberal definition of a short-haul exemption, allowing their 150-mile radius to begin at the point at which drivers pick up their load, rather than their company’s headquarters. Those exemptions will remain, Delorenzo said.

Delorenzo also said the agency will soon publish new guidelines for personal conveyance operations under the ELD mandate. The guidance will define “when a movement by a driver and carrier is not subject to hours of service regulations,” he said.

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