Livestock haulers get waiver from Hours of Service rules

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted drivers who haul livestock a 90-day waiver from a regulation limiting time behind the wheel.

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act, enacted as part of the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, mandated that ELDs be installed by Dec. 18, 2017, in commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate commerce, when operated by drivers who are required to keep records of duty status.

These devices, which can cost from $200 to $1,000, record driving time, monitor engine hours, vehicle movement and speed, miles driven and location information.

Regulations limit truckers to 11 hours of driving daily, after 10 consecutive hours off duty and restrict their on-duty time to 14 consecutive hours, which includes nondriving time.

Ag waiver

The National Pork Producers Council, on behalf of the U.S. pork industry and other livestock sectors, had requested a waiver from a requirement that certain drivers install Electronic Logging Devices on their trucks.

The organization also asked for an exemption from the regulation.

“The ELDs regulation poses some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, an Illinois pork producer.

“This waiver will give the department time to consider our request that truckers transporting hogs, cattle and other livestock be exempt from the ELDs mandate.”

Exemption

DOT recently issued an interpretation intended to address shortcomings in its Hours of Service rules, exempting from the regulations and from any distance-logging requirements truckers hauling livestock within a 150 air-mile radius of the location at which animals were loaded.

The department is expected to publish guidance on the air-mile exemption soon.

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