Twenty senators have shown their support for a Congressional measure to give livestock and insect haulers until October 2018 to comply with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate.
The senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties sent a letter to Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York), showing their support for the proposed ELD mandate waiver.
The senators explained that extending the deadline for livestock and insect haulers to comply with the ELD Rule would give the FMCSA adequate time “to make necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns.”
They also said: “These animals must be transported hundreds and even thousands of miles to their final destinations in a safe and humane manner. Long distance transportation is often the most stressful event in a livestock animal’s life, and it is impractical and inhumane to stop, offload multiple times, or significantly delay delivery of these animals.”
According to the FMCSA, the 90-day ELD extension would allow them to tackle the unique challenges that ag haulers face. Moreover, the agency plans to tweak hours-of-service regulations for ag haulers.
Currently, livestock haulers also enjoy other exemptions. For instance, in 2015, livestock haulers secured a semi-permanent exemption from the 30-minute break required by the hours-of-service regulations. However, the trade groups that represent livestock haulers believe that there is more work to be done to make hours-of-service rules more conducive to the special needs of livestock and ag haulers.
Expressing their support for the ELD reprieve, the group of Senators wrote, “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.”
While ag haulers currently have a temporary 90-day exemption from the FMCSA’s electronic logging device mandate, for other non-exempt CMV truckers the ELD mandate is now mandatory.
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