Senators seek longer ELD delay for ag haulers

livestock exemption

A bi-partisan group of 20 U.S. Senators earlier this week sent a letter with Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Charles Schumer (D-New York) in support of a Congressional measure to give livestock and insect haulers at least an extra 10 months to comply with the federal government’s electronic logging device mandate.

The Senators say the move would give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “time to make necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns” that livestock haulers say are presented by current hours regulations.

The ELD mandate goes into effect Dec. 18.

The Dec. 5 letter comes two and a half weeks after the FMCSA announced it is giving livestock haulers and other drivers hauling agriculture loads an extra 90 days to adopt an ELD, which extends the compliance deadline for such drivers into mid-March. The agency also said it plans to tweak hours of service regulations for livestock haulers to better fit their operations.

The U.S. House earlier this year passed a measure as part of a spending bill that would provide livestock haulers relief from ELD mandate compliance at least through the 2018 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2018. However, the bill and the livestock haulers provision has not passed in the Senate.

“While some commercial operators without live cargo may have the ability to more easily transition from paper logbooks to ELDs, the pending mandate will have negative consequences on livestock haulers and hinder the ability of this unique subset of the industry to humanely deliver healthy livestock,” the Senators wrote.

See the full letter and its signatories.