U.S. Senator Ben Sasse has reintroduced the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act. The legislation is designed to give livestock haulers flexibility from the Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Hours of Service rules
“Overly strict regulations are hurting our ranchers and our haulers,” Sasse said. “My legislation pushes back against those dumb regulations and works to promote safe transportation.”
Starting December 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) required commercial vehicle drivers to install an electronic logging device (ELD) in their truck. The ELD will track driver compliance with the Hours of Service (HOS) rules by connecting to the engine to log vehicle motion. The FMCSA exempted livestock haulers from this requirement until further review of a petition filed by the livestock industry.
For livestock, live fish, and insects, HOS rules require that haulers turn on their ELD after they cross a 150-air mile radius of the origin of their load (such as cattle). After crossing a 150-air mile radius, haulers must start tracking their on-duty time and can only drive 11 hours before taking a mandatory 10-hour rest time.
“This is good, reasonable, common-sense, bipartisan legislation — and it should pass so we can give Nebraskans the flexibility they need to keep livestock safe and to keep our state running and feeding the world,” Sasse said.
Specifically, the legislation:
Provides that HOS and ELD requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300-air miles from their source. Drive time for HOS purposes does not start until after 300-air mile threshold.
Exempts loading and unloading times from the HOS calculation of driving time.
Extends the HOS on-duty time maximum hour requirement from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 18 hours of on-duty time.
Grants flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against HOS time.
Allows drivers to complete their trip – regardless of HOS requirements – if they come within 150-air miles of their delivery point.
Ensures that, after the driver completes their delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum on-duty time (10 hours if a 15-hour drive time).
The legislation is supported by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and the Livestock Marketing Association.