ELD mandate exemption extended for livestock haulers
ELD mandate exemption extended for livestock haulers

A $1.3 trillion spending bill has extended the ELD mandate exemption for livestock haulers until September 30, 2018. Both chambers of the Congress passed the bill, and President Donald Trump has signed the bill into law.

According to the bill, livestock haulers are exempt from complying with the ELD mandate until the fiscal year ends — September 30, 2018.

Keep in mind that this exemption is only for livestock haulers. Ag haulers will comply with the last month’s ruling by the FMCSA that allowed a 3-month ELD exemption to agriculture and livestock haulers.

Allison Cooke, who is the Executive Director for Government Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, supports the extension saying:

“This language gives FMCSA more time to educate our haulers on the ELDs themselves, as well as make sure our law enforcement officers are aware of the agriculture exemptions that already exist for our livestock haulers.”

Other provisions

Other than allowing livestock haulers to continue operating without logging devices until September 30, the bill also has the following provisions:

  •   It provides $45 billion from the Highway Trust Fund. The money should be spent on the Federal-aid Highways Program.
  •   It allocates $2.5 billion extra in discretionary highway funding. It is an increase of $3.5 billion budget for roads and bridges over the last year.
  •   The bill funds the National Infrastructure Investments multimodal program with $1.5 billion. Last year, it received only $.5 billion. The bill also ensures that 30% of the money goes to rural communities.
  •   It also funds transportation safety programs and agencies working with the Department of Transportation. $947 million is assigned for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, $845 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and $272 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. It is an increase of $36 million, $201 million, and $8 million from the enacted level of the last fiscal year, respectively.
  •   It permits New Hampshire and North Dakota to allow dump trucks to operate with GVW ratings that can go up to 99,000 pounds and 129,000 pounds, respectively.

What’s missing?

The 2,232-page bill is, however, missing a very important mention.

Truckers have identified that the bill has no measure that would prevent individual states to mandate rest and meal breaks. So, commercial truck drivers can be pushed to take unnecessary breaks by state authorities.

Commenting on this, Joe Rajkovacz, the Director of Governmental Affairs & Communications for the Western States Trucking Association, said:

“We are disappointed that Congress has once again ‘kicked the can down the road’ related to clarifying congressional intent over preempting state laws related to meal and rest break issues by not including language to resolve this issue once and for all.”

Sean McNally, the Spokesman of the American Trucking Associations also added:

“The lack of a fix for the state meal and rest break issue is disappointing to ATA because we had hoped Congress would assert itself and reiterate a position that it has long maintained: that only the federal government, not individual states, can regulate interstate commerce.”

Note that interest groups have long been pushing authorities to overrule state’s authority over federal authority.

Mcnally added that ATA will continue “to urge Congress — and the Administration — to exercise the constitutional right to overrule states..”

What’s next?

To summarize, livestock haulers have until September 30 to comply with the ELD mandate. Ag haulers have until June 18.

Other non-exempt truckers are already complying with the FMCSA’s ELD rule. Moreover, with the April 1 deadline just around the corner, full enforcement will begin.

It means after April 1 ELD violations will place drivers out of service and will also negatively affect CSA scores.

If you are looking for a reliable ELD solution, find out one by using our free ELD price comparison and ELD features comparison tools.

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