FMCSA announces new ELD waiver for ag commodity haulers; additional guidance

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line Digital Content Editor | Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will extend by 90 days a waiver for agricultural commodities and livestock haulers to comply with the electronic logging device mandate.

“We’re very aware of the unique needs of those who transport ag products and commodities and livestock,” deputy FMCSA administrator Cathy Gautreaux said during a media call on Tuesday announcing the waiver.

Gautreaux also said the agency will release “relevant guidance that will be more clear and consistent for both drivers and enforcement.”

The guidance documents will include the publication of final guidance documents for the 150-air-mile exemption and personal conveyance guidance.

The original waiver was scheduled to expire March 18. It applies to all eligible motor carriers that handle agricultural commodities as defined under 49 CFR 395.2.

Drivers covered by the waiver include those hauling “any agricultural commodity, nonprocessed food, feed, fiber or livestock.” Livestock is defined as “cattle, elk, reindeer, bison, horses, deer, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg-producing poultry), fish used for food and other animals designated … that are part of a foundation herd or offspring.”

The waiver is expected to be published in The Federal Register by March 18. The final guidance updates are expected to publish sometime in the next 60 to 90 days, according to Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance.

The agency also reiterated its intention to begin full enforcement of the ELD rule starting on April 1. From that date forward, carriers that do not have an ELD when required will be placed out of service. The driver will remain out-of-service for 10 hours in accordance with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance criteria.

At that point, to facilitate compliance, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop and should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action.



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