Hoeven Helps Introduce Legislation to Provide Flexibility For Livestock Haulers Under ELD & HOS Regulations

Legislation Part of Senator’s Work to Ensure Efficient & Humane Transportation of Livestock

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, today helped introduce bipartisan legislation that would provide flexibility for livestock haulers under Electronic Logging Device (ELD) and Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. The bill, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, would help address agriculture producers’ concerns that the ELD and HOS rules impose unworkable mandates on commercial drivers transporting livestock and jeopardize animals’ safety.

“This bipartisan bill represents our latest effort to provide regulatory relief for the agriculture transportation industry,” Hoeven said. “We need to ensure that federal rules do not pose a risk to the safe transportation of livestock. That’s why we’ve worked hard to delay the rules and provide waivers and additional flexibility while we continue our efforts to pass a permanent solution. Introducing this bill is an important step in that process, and I look forward to working with our agriculture producers and my colleagues in the Senate to find common ground and provide long-term relief from these burdensome regulations.”

“This bill makes the necessary changes to the Hours of Service requirements to accommodate the animal welfare needs of the livestock transport industry, and will greatly help North Dakota’s ranchers. We are thankful for Senator Hoeven’s work on this important issue,” said Julie Ellingson, Executive Vice President of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.

Today’s legislation comes as part of Hoeven’s work to maintain the safe, efficient and humane transportation of livestock and builds on his successful efforts to both secure a delay of the ELD regulations in the Fiscal Year 2018 funding legislation and provide flexibility under the HOS rule for agriculture-related transportation. 

Hoeven also recently joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide additional flexibility under its HOS regulations for all types of commercial drivers. The senators’ letter supports the FMCSA’s current efforts to identify appropriate regulatory relief and ensure the HOS rules promote safety while still working in real-world conditions.

The senator continues working to advance and pass into law a permanent solution to resolve agriculture groups’ concerns with the rules. Specifically, under this legislation:

  • ELD and HOS requirements would be inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300 air miles from their source.
  • Loading and unloading times would be exempt from HOS calculations.
  • HOS on-duty time maximum would be set between 15 to 18 hours, at the Secretary of Transportation’s discretion, up from the current maximum of 11 hours.
  • Drivers would be allowed to rest at any point without counting against HOS time.
  • Drivers would be allowed to complete their trip, regardless of HOS, if they come within 150 air miles of their delivery point.
  • Following the completion of their delivery, drivers would be required to take a break for a period between 10 and 13 hours, five hours less than the maximum on-time duty set by the Secretary.