Bipartisan bill seeks delay of ELD enforcement on ag haulers while reforms sought

June 14, 2018

Greg Grisolano

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A bipartisan bill would delay enforcement of the mandate requiring electronic logging devices be used in agricultural hauling until regulatory reforms are proposed.

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., this week introduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation to establish a multiple-stakeholder working group to reform U.S. Department of Transportation regulations regarding hours of service and ELD rules.

The proposal would delay enforcement of the ELD rule for commercial vehicles “hauling livestock, insects or agricultural perishables” until the transportation secretary proposes reforms.

The bill joins a growing list of congressional legislation aimed at providing regulatory relief from ELDs and reforms to the hours of service. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has championed ELD relief and hours-of-service reforms for all truckers.

“The more people contributing to the conversation to reform HOS and ELDs, the merrier,” said Collin Long, OOIDA director of government affairs.

If approved, the Hoeven-Bennet bill would establish a working group at DOT to identify obstacles to the safe, humane and market-efficient transport of livestock and, within one year of the group’s establishment, develop guidelines for regulatory or legislative action to improve the transportation of these commodities, according to the joint release.

The working group would be comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It would be tasked with considering these issues:

  • The impact, incompatibilities and other challenges and concerns of existing HOS rules and ELD rules under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on the commercial transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities;
  • Initiatives and regulatory changes that maintain and protect highway safety and allow for the safe, efficient and productive marketplace transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities; and
  • Other related issues that the transportation secretary considers appropriate.

The bill also would require the transportation secretary to propose regulatory changes within 120 days of receiving the working group’s report, taking into account the group’s findings and recommendations.

The news release notes that the bill has garnered support from the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United States Cattlemen’s Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Honey Producers Association and the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union.

 

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Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.