The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) joined other livestock groups in hand delivering to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao a petition for a waiver followed by a limited exemption from compliance with the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) rule. The petition also asks the Department of Transportation (DOT) to address livestock industry concerns that the current Hours of Service (HOS) rules are not compatible with the realities of the livestock industry. Under current regulations, ELD’s must be implemented starting on December 18, 2017.
“U.S. beef producers and livestock haulers are focused on protecting public safety and ensuring the health and well-being of cattle transported around the country,” said NCBA President Craig Uden, a fourth-generation beef producer from Elwood, Nebraska. “A limited exemption from ELDs will allow for our haulers to continue to safely transport livestock while providing the livestock industry time to continue working with DOT to find workable solutions within the HOS rules that take into account the unique needs of livestock haulers.”
Livestock haulers have a challenging task of ensuring motorist safety while also maximizing the health and welfare of transported animals. To meet these demands, a large number of livestock haulers participate in specialized training programs covering safe animal handling and transportation methods. Unfortunately, the upcoming ELD rule would decrease driver safety, jeopardize the well-being of hauled animals, and force small business owners out of the marketplace.
More time is needed to address livestock industry concerns and educate all stakeholders to avoid disruption in an industry that already has concerns with driver shortages. NCBA will continue to work with the DOT to find a workable solution that allows our drivers, our cattle, and others on the road to move safely around the country and get where they need to go.
Background: Specific Asks of NCBA and Livestock Industry Partners on ELD and HOS
NCBA is actively engaging with the Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and Congress on the ELD and HOS rules. Echoing previous requests in meetings with FMCSA officials, and language currently found in the House Appropriations FY 18 Bill, NCBA continues to request:
- Delayed ELD Enforcement: The current ELD enforcement deadline should be delayed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for no less than one year. Additional time will allow industry concerns to be addressed and provide training/educational opportunities for impacted stakeholders.
- Increased Flexibility within HOS: Hours of Service (HOS) rules applying to livestock haulers must be made more flexible so that drivers can safely do their jobs while preserving the welfare of the animals.