Ag News

FMCSA extends ag waiver from ELD rule

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended a temporary waiver for agriculture-related transportation from its electronic logging devices (ELD) rule, according to an FCSA press release.

The agency said it provided additional guidance to assist in the implementation of the ELD rule, which is mandated under a federal transportation law passed in 2012.

FMCSA granted an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD rule for agriculture-related transportation, starting from the day the waiver appeared in the federal register. During this time period, FMCSA said it will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance. FMCSA will continue its outreach to provide assistance to the agricultural industry and community regarding the ELD rule.

Georgia Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural groups opposed the ELD rule for agriculture-related transportation. In particular, ag groups maintained that the rule’s hours-of-service limitations conflict with animal welfare needs.

In a November letter to the U.S. Senate, Georgia Farm Bureau noted that many livestock operations are located in remote, rural areas and routinely require long hauls to transport animals, which are vulnerable to fluctuations in temperature. In warmer weather, livestock industry guidelines stipulate that drivers avoid stops while hauling livestock, in part because livestock trailers are designed to cool the animals while in motion.

The ELD went into effect in December, when trucks hauling agricultural products received the initial 90-day waiver. That waiver was scheduled to expire March 18. The expiration of the new waiver will be set by the date the waiver is published in the Federal Register. 

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