Electronic log delay for ag truckers, but exemptions sought
The Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Monday it will issue a 90-day waiver on electronic logging device requirements for commercial vehicle operators transporting agriculture products and not record out-of-service violations against motor carriers’ federal safety rating while the waiver is in effect.
But FMCSA said the new rule will still go into effect on Dec. 18, and that all trucks will have to comply with it after the 90-day waiver.
“Our agriculture producers cannot afford to have limited transportation options when looking to sell their goods,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a news release. “This waiver provides flexibility to give drivers more time to comply with the ELD rule and helps ensure farmers and ranchers can get their products to market.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has submitted an exemption request to a federal regulation requiring trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices.
“Small-business truckers that have already proven their ability to operate safely should not be subject to purchasing costly, unproven and uncertified devices,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association said it was pleased that FMCSA also announced its plan to open a public comment period related to the application of the agricultural commodity hours-of-service exemption and to clarify the existing 150 air-miles hours-of-service exemption to enforcement officers and industry.
USCA’s Transportation Committee Chairman Steve Hilker said “We’re confident that upon further examination, the administration will find that livestock haulers need additional flexibility in the mandate, specifically in the restrictive Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules.”
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It’s time for Colorado meat producers to throw down the gauntlet.