The agency’s decision to grant the compliance extension stems from multiple requests from trade groups representing the ag and livestock businesses, who said the ELD mandate “exposed incompatibilities between the HOS rules and the” ag hauling industry. The National Pork Producers Council, for instance, said the strict adherence to hours of service rules prompted by the ELD mandate would “[endanger] the health and welfare of animals transported.”

James Jaillet

Overdrive

Just shy of a month after announcing it would give drivers hauling livestock and other agricultural commodities a brief reprieve from compliance with the electronic logging device mandate, the U.S. DOT has officially released the waiver granting such haulers until March 18, 2018, to switch from paper logs to ELDs. The document is available on the DOT’s website but has not yet been officially published in the Federal Register.

The compliance extension gives drivers covered by the waiver an extra 90 days beyond the standard December 18 ELD mandate compliance deadline. The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the delay for ag and livestock haulers will also give the agency time to consider other ELD-related exemptions requested by drivers who work in the ag industry, the agency says.

The waiver does not change the hours of service regs that livestock and ag haulers operate under. Drivers covered by the waiver include those hauling “any agricultural commodity, non-processed food, feed, fiber, or livestock.” Livestock is defined 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.” The waivers apply to all drivers hauling the aforementioned loads, regardless of their distance traveled or whether they cross state lines.

“Agricultural commodity” is defined in the waiver broadly with reference to the description in portions of the existing ag short-haul exemption to the hours of service. For the purposes of the ELD waiver, however, FMCSA is explicit in granting it to ag haulers “regardless of the distance traveled.” Those exempt from ELDs include truckers hauling “agricultural commodities from the source” to any location.

Drivers operating under the compliance extension must have a copy of the waiver with them, available at this link. The agency’s decision to grant the compliance extension stems from multiple requests from trade groups representing the ag and livestock businesses, who said the ELD mandate “exposed incompatibilities between the HOS rules and the” ag hauling industry. The National Pork Producers Council, for instance, said the strict adherence to hours of service rules prompted by the ELD mandate would “[endanger] the health and welfare of animals transported.”

Read the full report here


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