Can't Make Heads or Tails of ELDs, Hours of Service? No One Can... Allison Rivera Sets Us StraightFri, 08 Feb 2019 11:14:25 CST
At the recent 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, Executive Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Allison Rivera talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about several issues the industry is tackling right now, including the US Department of Transportation’s ELD Mandate and Hours of Service Rule. Together, these regulations require commercial freight truckers to install onboard electronic logging devices (ELDs) to digitally record their active drive times, and limits the amount of time a driver can spend on the road. Rivera says that with the turmoil in Washington, DC currently, the waters on this rule have been a little murky as NCBA continues to work with the DOT to delay and exempt livestock haulers from the rule.
“I think there was a lot of confusion out there when Congress was trying to avoid a shutdown and was passing stopgap continuing resolutions from one week to the next,” Rivera said explaining how this eventually led to some to believe livestock haulers were totally exempt from the ELD mandate - though Rivera says it is only being delayed for now until Congress can pass final legislation which will likely still require the installation of ELDs. “I know a lot of our producers do not like the ELDs. I’m not in love with them either, but the bigger issue here is not the ELDs themselves - it’s Hours of Service.”
Currently, drivers have 11 hours of maximum drive time after 10 consecutive hours off duty. For livestock haulers, this is more often than not an inadequate amount of time to safely and humanely transport livestock from one location to their final destination. While exemption from this rule would be ideal, it is not likely the DOT will consent to that. Alternatively, Rivera says the NCBA is working instead to at least extend the Hours of Service rule for livestock haulers. During the Convention, Rivera says NCBA formally submitted a petition demanding livestock haulers be granted 16 hours of on-duty time with 15 hours of drive time after 10 hours of off-duty time. This schedule, she says is based off the Australian model which has had a long record of success.
“It’s an animal welfare issue. Hauling a load of toilet paper is very different from hauling a load of cattle. This is the US government taking a wide brush and painting across the entire trucking industry,” she said. “This is not a silver bullet… for some people 15 hours is not enough. But, we have to be cognizant of what is possible when we’re working with a government agency. And so, it’s more time than people have now and we think it’s a step in the right direction.”
Listen to Rivera address the confusion surrounding the ELD mandate and Hours of Service rule with Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz - brought to you by the American Angus Association. America’s breed.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
Our coverage from New Orleans and the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show will be powered by Corteva Agriscience, delivering solutions to help you manage weeds and brush- learn more by clicking here for their website- www.RangeAndPasture.Com.
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