Hoeven Urges Senate Leadership to Delay Electronic Logging Device Implementation for Motor Carriers Hauling Livestock

Senator Worked with DOT to Secure ELD Waiver, Flexibility in HOS Regulations

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, recently joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Senate leadership to delay implementation of electronic logging device (ELD) requirements for commercial motor vehicles hauling livestock. The full letter can be found here.

“We need to provide a smooth transition from paper records to ELDs for motor carriers tasked with hauling livestock,” Hoeven said. “This is all about ensuring the new rules do not interfere with the safe, efficient and humane transportation of livestock.”

This effort aligns with Hoeven’s work to provide needed regulatory relief to ensure agriculture producers can get their products to market and secure safe transportation for their livestock. This includes:

ELD Waiver

Last month, Hoeven announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) was issuing a waiver on ELD requirements for the commercial transportation of 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.

Hours of Service Flexibility

Earlier this year, Hoeven secured 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.