Hoeven: FMCSA To Waive ELD Requirements for Motor Carriers Hauling Agriculture Products

Senator Worked to Secure Waiver, Will Help Ensure Farmers & Ranchers Can Get Products to Market

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will issue a waiver on electronic logging device (ELD) requirements for commercial vehicle operators transporting agriculture products. Hoeven worked with DOT officials to secure the waiver, effective for 90 days, which ensures drivers will not be forced out of service if they are still using paper logs to record their hours of service (HOS). In addition, DOT says it will not enforce out-of-service violations for all motor carriers until April 1. Drivers transporting non-agricultural products may still receive a citation for being out of compliance during this period, but may continue to drive. Further, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will not record out-of-service violations against motor carriers’ federal safety rating while the waiver is in effect.

“Our agriculture producers cannot afford to have limited transportation options when looking to sell their goods,” Hoeven said. “This waiver provides flexibility to give drivers more time to comply with the ELD rule and helps ensure farmers and ranchers can get their products to market.”

Today’s announcement follows Hoeven’s efforts 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 will issue a Notice for Comment on Agricultural Hours of Service clarifying the ag-exemption 150-air mile radius rule.