A bill that would exempt agriculture haulers from using federally mandated electronic logging devices (ELD) has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Agricultural Business Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 was put forward again by Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) and Greg Gianforte (R-MT) on March 13. The legislation would exempt agricultural businesses from the Federal Motor Carrier Association’s ELD requirements, allowing agriculture haulers to use either paper logs or an ELD to monitor hours of service.
The same bill was proposed last year during the 115th Congress and had 34 cosponsors, but was only referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
A similar bill was also reintroduced by the Representatives Peterson and Gianfonte called the Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018. It would exempt businesses which operate ten or fewer commercial trucks from ELD requirements, offering the option to use paper logs or an ELD to monitor hours of service. The bill had 36 cosponsors and was similarly referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
“This important legislation will eliminate regulations for small trucking companies and will help reduce unnecessary stops and delays which threaten the agricultural products they help to transport,” says Peterson. “These bills are a win for small businesses in rural America and our farmers.”
“Electronic logging devices are more Washington red tape that ties up truckers and puts livestock and Montana livelihoods at risk,” Gianforte says. “These bills will help reduce the unnecessary burden this federal mandate pushes onto Montana’s small trucking operations, farmers, and ranchers.”
Support from Truckers and Agriculture
The bills have the support of groups representing agriculture and truckers. Here is what some of these orgs are saying about the legislative proposals:
- “Minnesota Farm Bureau appreciates Chairman Peterson's leadership in making sure that agriculture's concerns with the Electronic Logging Device requirements are addressed. The safety of animals in transit, while protecting the safety of others on the road, is something Minnesota Farm Bureau takes very seriously. Transporting live animals and perishable products requires flexibility and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ does not work for transporting agricultural products,” says Kevin Paap, President- Minnesota Farm Bureau
- “Minnesota cattle producers and livestock haulers are grateful to Congress and members like Representative Peterson for the ELD delay that they currently hold. We are also thankful that Representative Peterson and others continue to fight for needed flexibility for livestock haulers, who are an integral part of helping farmers feed this country and the world,” says Mike Landuyt, President-Minnesota State Cattlemen Association
- “On behalf of the United States Cattlemen’s Association, we’d like to thank House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson and Representative Greg Gianforte for listening to the concerns of not only livestock haulers, but all transporters of agricultural commodities. This bill will exempt agricultural businesses from the requirements of the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandate, but still hold drivers accountable for reporting their Hours-of-Service – thereby ensuring the safety of livestock haulers, the animals they transport, and fellow road users,” says Steve Hilker, Transportation Committee Chairman, United States Cattlemen’s Association
- “America’s sheep industry relies every day on safe, efficient and qualified livestock haulers. This act would give those haulers the needed flexibility to ensure both highway safety and animal welfare. We applaud Rep. Peterson and Rep. Gianforte on their leadership,” says Benny Cox, President - American Sheep Industry Association.
- “TruckerNation is pleased to continually support Congressman Peterson in his efforts to bring legislative relief to small trucking companies and transporters of agricultural commodities. The Congress has a unique opportunity to pass this bipartisan legislation which impacts everyone who travels our nations highways and byways. Transportation continues to be an industry that is over legislated and regulated. It is refreshing to see efforts by legislative leaders to bring relief to the small business and agricultural transporters of our great Nation,” says TruckerNation.
- "For farm equipment dealers, the Agricultural Business ELD Exemption Act provides urgently important regulatory relief that allows dealers to serve their customers. Agricultural operations face unique circumstances that require equipment dealers to provide equipment, service and parts during critical times such as harvest and planting seasons. Current ELD restrictions limit equipment dealers responsiveness to their farmer and rancher customer's needs while driving up costs. This bill would increase uptime for agriculture producers and lower costs while maintaining safety standards,” says John Schmeiser, CEO, Western Equipment Dealers Association.
- “On behalf of our members and the trucking industry, we at the United States Transportation Alliance (USTA) would like to thank you for the reintroduction of The Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 and Agricultural Business Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018. It is a big step in the right direction. We're happy to have been able to meet with your staff on this issue and look forward to more in the future,” says Mike Landis, CEO-United States Transportation Alliance.
Other ELD and Hours of Service Fixes
These bills are just the latest in a series of legislative proposals that have been made during the past few years. Here is a list of articles referring to other ELD and hours of service solutions: