Clements: A waiver by the Department of Transportation allows agriculture the exemption to electronic logging device requirements in commercial trucks that take effect next month. The 90-day waiver was granted in response to a petition by the American Farm Bureau Federation and other ag groups. AFBF congressional relations director Andrew Walmsley says the waiver allows the agency to reevaluate the mandate’s impact on agriculture.
Walmsley: Beginning December 18th, most other commercial vehicle drivers will have to comply, but if you have ag commodities or livestock, you’re going to have an additional 90 days while the agency reviews the petition that Farm Bureau and others in the livestock industry put before the agency to grant an exemption for a longer term.
Clements: Farm Bureau is seeking an exemption to the rule for up to five years. Walmsley says the ELD mandate raises many concerns for livestock and ag commodity haulers.
Walmsley: I think there’s a realization that there needs to be more flexibility in the devices, there’s also an understanding that you can’t just leave live animals on a trailer overnight if a driver runs out of hours of service. All those factors are contributing for the need for the agency to continue to work with Farm Bureau and others to address those concerns before any type of mandate were to take effect.
Clements: Farmers and ranchers still have time to voice their concerns about the ELD mandate.
Walmsley: That actual petition for the exemption is still open for comment until this Thursday when it closes. So, you can go to www.fb.org to fill out a form expressing your concerns and have that submitted to the Department of Transportation.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.