Electronic Logging Devices
THE INFORMATION BELOW SHOULD BE KEPT IN YOUR TRUCK TO PROVIDE PROOF OF YOUR ELD EXEMPTION UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2019.
PLEASE PRINT FOR YOUR USE AND KEEP WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES.
SEC. 131. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Transportation by this Act or any other Act may be obligated or expended to implement, administer, or enforce the requirements of section 31137 of title 49, United States Code, or any regulation issued by the Secretary pursuant to such section, with respect to the use of electronic logging devices by operators of commercial motor vehicles, as defined in section 18 31132(1) of such title, transporting livestock as defined in section 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 (7 U.S.C. 1471) or insects.
Current Hours of Service rules do not provide the needed flexibility that live animal haulers need to safely haul livestock across the country. Instead, the current rules – coupled with the implementation of electronic logging devices and lack of flexibilities – jeopardize the health and well-being of livestock. The restrictions might work when hauling typical consumer goods, like toilet paper. But for live animals, repeated loading/unloading and extended periods of time sitting in the back of a sedentary trailer can have serious consequences on the health and safety of the animals being hauled.
Thanks to Congressional action that NCBA helped secure, livestock haulers are operating under a delay in enforcement of ELDs/Hours of Service until further notice. Prior to the beginning of 2019 and the partial government shutdown, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) posted the following on their website: “Transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD. The statutory exemption will remain in place until further notice. Drivers do not need to carry any documentation regarding this exemption.” The FMCSA aimed to clarify that livestock haulers were ELD exempt until further notice and made clear to enforcement officials that these haulers do not need to carry any documentation to show this exemption while it is still in place. However, this exemption is not necessarily permanent.
Recent Legislative Action
The passage of the February 2019 bipartisan spending package has provided a congressional ELD delay for livestock haulers until September 30, 2019. On Thursday, February 14, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that President Trump planned to sign a bipartisan spending deal and then declare a national emergency to fund his border wall. This move averted a pending government shutdown. McConnell stated, "he is prepared to sign the bill. He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time."
Introduction of legislation is an important first step, but more work remains. To provide meaningful relief for livestock haulers, legislation will need to advance through the relevant committee and pass both the Senate and the House (plus get the final signature from the President). OCA and NCBA will be working closely with our affiliates and allies to secure the needed changes.