Hoeven: FMCSA Provides Additional Waiver from ELD Rule for Agriculture-Related Transportation

Senator Urged DOT & Senate Leadership to Delay ELD Regulations

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement today after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced an additional 90-day waiver from the electronic logging device (ELD) rule for agriculture-related transportation. The waiver ensures drivers transporting agriculture products will not be forced out of service if they are still using paper logs to record their hours of service (HOS). The senator continues his efforts to find a permanent solution that maintains the safe, efficient and humane transportation of livestock.

“Today’s ELD waiver is good news for our farmers and ranchers,” Hoeven said. “This will help ensure that our ag products can get to market. Moving forward, we will continue working with our colleagues in the Senate and FMCSA to provide a solution that does not impose unworkable requirements, which threaten the safety of livestock while in transit.”

Today’s announcement follows FMCSA’s original waiver from last year, which Hoeven worked to secure. Hoeven also wrote to the Senate leadership in December, urging them to delay the regulations for commercial motor vehicles hauling livestock. 

The waivers align with Hoeven’s work to secure flexibility under FMCSA’s HOS regulations for truckers hauling livestock. Agriculture groups were concerned that due to the nature of hauling livestock, potential animal safety concerns could arise should a driver not reach his destination within the 11 hours of driving, 14 hour work day allowed under HOS requirements. 

FMCSA’s flexibility within the agriculture exemption means HOS do not apply to those hauling livestock when their work is conducted within a 150 air mile (or about 172 road mile) radius of the source of the livestock. Should a driver go beyond this radius, the HOS begin to apply and the driver can drive an additional 11 hours and work 14 hours. FMCSA has announced it intends to publish final guidance during the ELD waiver period to clarify the ag-exemption under the 150-air mile radius rule.