Bill would ease hours-of-service regulations for livestock haulers

May 2, 2019

Mark Schremmer


U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has reintroduced a bill that provides some relief from hours-of-service regulations to livestock haulers.

The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, or SB1255, was introduced on Tuesday, April 30 and is in response to the electronic logging mandate, which went into effect in December 2017.

The legislation would:

  • Provide that hours of service and ELD requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300 air miles from their source. Drive time for hours-of-service purposes would not start until after the 300 air mile threshold.
  • Exempt loading and unloading times from the hours-of-service calculation of driving time.
  • Grant flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against hours of service.
  • Allow drivers to complete their trip – regardless of hours of service – if they come within 150 air miles of their delivery point.
  • Ensure that, after the driver completes the delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is five hours less than the maximum on-duty time.

“Agriculture drives Nebraska, and nobody works harder to ensure the safety and well-being of livestock than the Nebraskans who hustle day in and day out,” Sasse said in a news release. “Overly strict regulations are hurting our ranchers and our haulers. My legislation pushes back against those dumb regulations and works to promote safe transportation.”

As of May 2, the bill already had 18 co-sponsors. 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.

Rep. Greg Pence, R-Ind., introduced a companion bill in the House on Wednesday, May 1. The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act, or HR2460, would require the Secretary of Transportation to establish a working group to study regulatory and legislative improvements for the livestock, insect, and agricultural commodities transport industries.