The Electronic Logging Mandate has been a major concern for the livestock industry throughout all of 2018. Officially implemented on Dec. 18, 2017, but given multiple extensions since then, the meat of the mandate may soon have a whole lot less bite to it. Wednesday afternoon, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, which will seek to ease the burden of far-reaching Hours-of-Service and Electronic Logging Devices regulations for haulers of livestock and insects.
The livestock industry, of course, is thrilled with the news.
“We asked, and Congress answered,” said U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Transportation Committee Chairman Steve Hilker. “This is a historic moment for livestock and insect haulers to finally be afforded needed flexibility in the restrictive Hours-of-Service rules. We commend this bipartisan group of Senators, led by Sen. Ben Sasse, for working with the industry towards a common-sense solution.”
For months, cattle haulers, horse-owners, and other agricultural enthusiasts fretted over how to shoulder the burden of the Electronic Logging Mandate’s regulations, many of which seemed outdated. The rules were poised to have a devastating effect not only on tens of thousands of small agricultural businesses, but millions of rural Americans and the lives we love.
The new Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act would:
- Providing that Hours-of-Service and Electronic Logging Device 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.
- After the driver completes their 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 (10 hours if a 15 hour drive time).
The senators who brought the TLAAS Act to the table were Ben Sasse (R-NE), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jon Tester (D), John Hoeven (R-ND), Tina Smith (D-MN), Pat Roberts (R-Ks), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Doug Jones (D-AL).
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