Electronic Logging Devices (ELD's) / Hours of Service (HOS) Rules


On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act into law, which required the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create and enforce an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule.  DOT published a final rule regarding the electronic log books that became effective February 16, 2016, stating that all motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to keep records of duty status (RODS) on paper must install and use an electronic logging device (ELD) no later than December 18, 2017. 

Since the scheduled deadline in 2017, DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced a series of delays of the ELD mandate for agricultural haulers.

Why Are ELDs a Problem For Livestock Haulers? 

The ELD enforcement date and existing hours of service (HOS) regulations pose significant consequences for the livestock industry. Current federal law limits on-duty time to 14 hours, with a maximum drive time of 11 consecutive hours. The driver must then rest for 10 consecutive hours before returning to duty.  For the great majority of the trips made by our livestock haulers, this is simply not enough drive time to accommodate the realities of hauling live animals across the country. Research also demonstrates that repeated loading and unloading of animals creates stress, harming the livestock as well as endangering the hauler.  

Unfortunately, any expiration of the current delay of the ELD enforcement date and existing hours of service (HOS) rules may force small business owners out of the marketplace while also having the unintended impact of decreasing driver safety, and jeopardizing the wellbeing of hauled animals if they can no longer be hauled by highly skilled and trained drivers/stockmen.

Where Do We Stand Right Now?

Since the ELDs were first rolled out, NCBA has acquired multiple exemptions for livestock haulers. The most recent exemption provided by Congress lasts until September 30, 2020. We ask members of Congress to provide another ELD exemption through the appropriations.

Current 150 Air-Mile Exemption: The exemption allows anyone hauling agricultural commodities to be exempt from Hours of Service rules until they are outside of the 150-air mile radius (172 road miles) of their pick-up point. NCBA hopes to secure the same exemption for the back-end of agricultural commodity hauls to provide further flexibility during the unloading period. NCBA asks for cosponsorship of H.R. 4919 - The TREAD Act: The Responsible Efficient Agriculture Destination Act. This bill was introduced by Reps. Angie Craig (MN - D) and Lloyd Smucker (PA - R).

What Solution is NCBA Proposing?

NCBA has asked the following of Congress and the Department of Transportation:

  • Cosponsor and pass H.R. 4919 - The TREAD Act: The Responsible Efficient Agriculture Destination Act. This bill was introduced by Reps. Angie Craig (MN - D) and Lloyd Smucker (PA - R). This bill fixes the seasonality issue that still faces about 10 states and adds the 150 air-mile exemption for agriculture commodity haulers from the source of a haul to include the destination also.  This would add the current exemption to the back-end of agriculture commodity hauls.

  • Delay ELD Enforcement for Livestock Haulers: The current ELD enforcement deadline needs to be delayed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) no less than one year to allow adequate time for industry concerns to be addressed as well as necessary educational training on the actual ELDs and livestock exemptions.

  • Provide Increased Flexibility within HOS: Hours of Service (HOS) rules for livestock haulers must be made more flexible so that drivers can safely do their jobs while preserving the welfare of the animals. Uncertainty About New FMCSA Guidance