What You Need to Know About the Livestock ELD Exemption

Posted March 27, 2018 by Administrator in Agribusiness, Transportation | 0 comments

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate went into effect in December of last year. However, the effective date was not without some exemptions.

  • The mandate grandfathered in individuals driving commercial vehicles with automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) through December 2019
  • Drivers operating vehicles manufactured prior to the year 2000 are exempt as well
  • Farmers and agricultural deliverers received waivers as well, exempting them so long as they were delivering agricultural commodities within a 150 air-mile radius

This final agricultural exemption, however, is set to expire on March 18. Farmers and agricultural haulers have submitted waiver extension requests, some as long as five years. The transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, however, has indicated a shorter waiver is more likely.

The issue with this looming expiration date is there is no indication when agricultural commodities transporters will receive this extension. While the answer remains murky, experts agree it is unlikely to come to fruition before the current exemption expires. This is a significant problem when considering the wellbeing of the livestock being transported.

HOS Regulations and Restrictions

Current hours of service (HOS) regulations limit drivers to 14 on-duty hours with no more than 11 hours of active driving in any given 24-hour period. Once a driver hits those numbers, he or she must stop and rest for 10 straight hours. This creates considerable difficulty for the animals and the driver relocating them.

Detractors point out that FMCSA set the HOS regulations for legitimate safety reasons. Allowing or forcing drivers to push beyond those limits can result in drowsy driving, accidents, and fatalities. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was not without sympathy for this conundrum, hence the original 90-day waiver. However, now that this waiver is about to expire, livestock transporters have little choice but to comply until the DOT agency releases the next waiver or enacts a long-term solution.

Solving the Livestock Problem

One proposed option is to plan routes with facilities that can handle livestock along the way. Even though this helps solve the problem of the animal’s wellbeing, it creates several other headaches. There are not enough of these types of facilities along common routes, meaning more would have to be built. This drives up costs for the livestock, which could be prohibitive. There are also other concerns such as security, the weather, and having the appropriate food and water on hand for the various animals.

While lawmakers continue to debate potential solutions, the agriculture industry needs to prepare for this shift. As a dedicated service provider to both the agribusiness and trucking industry, Cline Wood can help your business prepare for this change. To learn more about protecting your agribusiness, contact us today.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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