Democratic Senator pushes for clarity with Electronic Logs

Lloyd Doyle
March 17, 2018

"By issuing this waiver, the agency will have more time to release important guidance for agriculture commodity and livestock haulers", said Senator Fischer. Prior to implementation, DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) waived this regulation for agricultural haulers for 90 days, which, prior to the extension, would have expired March 18, 2018.

"Based on feedback I have received from my constituents, I am very concerned that this rule does not take into consideration the realities of transporting livestock, insects and perishable produce, and that it will affect recreational horse users that are not involved with the commercial trucking industry", Heitkamp wrote.

"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", he said.

Drivers who have to use ELDs would be limited to current hours of service rules, which restrict a driver to only 14 "on duty" hours, with no more than 11 active driving hours. Once drivers reach that limit, they must pull over and wait 10 hours before driving again.

Agricultural compliance with the mandate likely would have been problematic for the agriculture industry because the devices reportedly do not accurately account for the agricultural exemptions now provided in the law. This is not a final decision on the livestock-specific ELD exemption request filed in September - a determination on that request is still to be made.

Concerned about livestock haulers' readiness to comply with the mandate, as well as how the mandate will affect the transported animals' well-being, the American Farm Bureau Federation and seven livestock organizations last fall asked DOT for a waiver and exemption from the original December 18 ELD implementation deadline. We look forward to continuing to work with DOT to create regulations that support a safe and practical livestock transportation segment of our ag industry.”.

It is important to note that this 90 days is an extension of the previous 90 days given to all agriculture commodity haulers.

"Today's announcement is a step in the right direction and shows that the FMCSA understands that this rule is impractical in cattle country", Rep. Marshall said. I am encouraged by the agency's effort to engage and have continued discussions with industry partners to find long-term solutions. "In the meantime, Congress needs to act". "That's why I led a bipartisan letter, with nearly 70 signatures, to House Leadership".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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