The budget deal that was signed by the President on February 15 prevented another government shutdown. Also included in this bill was a provision that extends the exemption to comply with the ELD mandate for truckers who haul livestock and insects. These truckers will continue to be exempt for at least seven more months.
Truckers who haul livestock and insects have been exempt from the ELD mandate from the start. Why? Because they have the added responsibility of making sure the cargo that they are hauling are kept safe and alive. This means they need to make sure the animals or insects they are hauling have access to food and water. They also need to make sure that their living cargo is kept in a proper temperature when they make their stops for rest.
Currently, the extension is set to expire on September 30, 2019. Livestock groups that represent livestock haulers have asked the FMCSA to make hour of service regulations more lenient for haulers, because of the added responsibilities that cut into road and rest time. These groups include the:
Instead of the 14-hour on-duty period with an 11-hour drive-time limit, the groups have requested the FMCSA to adjust the hours to 16-hours on-duty after 10-hours of off-duty. Within the 16-hours on-duty, it is proposed that 15-hours be allowed for drive-time. It is important to note that the clock on these hours would begin only after livestock haulers cross the threshold that already allows them to operate without an hours of service clock if they stay within a 150-air-mile radius of where they pick up their cargo.
The FMCSA began its 30-day public comment period for the proposed waiver on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. You can voice your comments at Regulations.gov by entering No. FMCSA-2018-0334. Keep watching Cargobot’s blog to see the latest news regarding the ELD mandate.