Agricultural haulers now have until the middle of March next year to comply with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate.
Joe DeLorenzo recently made the announcement during one of his addresses and confirmed that ag haulers are getting a temporary ELD mandate exemption. He also added that they would post a public notice on the Federal Register announcing the extension of the deadline for ag haulers as well as some additional ELD transition guidelines to ensure a smoother transition.
It is important to remember that for the rest of the non-exempt truckers, the compliance deadline is still December 18, 2017.
According to Joe DeLorenzo, the public notice would also include a thorough definition of the drivers who are going to receive this temporary waiver. The definition will be largely based on the description established in the 1980s by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which defines livestock as “…cattle, elk, reindeer, bison, horses, deer, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg-producing poultry), fish used for food and other animals designated…that are part of a foundation herd or offspring.”
The waiver’s scope, however, will be more extensive than just the definition and would also extend to agricultural haulers who don’t transport livestock.
Delorenzo told that the request for the extension was a result of ongoing discussions with those in the agriculture transport industry.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and other groups highlighted to the FMCSA that livestock haulers are unprepared to meet the ELD compliance deadline. Their concerns stem from “an incompatibility” between federal Hours of Service regulations and the operations of livestock haulers.
“While the concerns are not related specifically to ELDs, we do feel at this time those items require us to give a little further consideration,” Delorenzo said.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) also pushed for a delay of the ELD compliance deadline for livestock haulers.
The NCBA said a delay would give them “time to address our industry-specific concerns and give us more time to work with federal regulators to add needed flexibility, as livestock has many challenges and variables.”
Joe Delorenzo has confirmed that the semi-permanent exemption secured by livestock haulers in 2015 from the 30-minute break will still be in effect.
Also, the MAP-21 Highway Funding Act of 2012 gave livestock haulers a more liberal definition of a short-haul exemption, allowing their 150-mile radius to begin at the point where drivers pick up their load rather than their company’s headquarters.
As of now, ag haulers have until mid-March 2018 to comply with the ELD mandate. However, the ELD mandate compliance deadline for other truckers is still December 18, 2017.
After the deadline, vehicles without ELDs will be cited and fined. Don’t waste time. Buy electronic logging devices today.