U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran from Kansas are among a bipartisan group of original co-sponsors of legislation aimed at reforming federal hours of service (HOS) rules for livestock haulers. NCBA supports the Transporting Livestock Across America Safety Act as a way to ensure animal welfare, highway safety and the well-being of livestock transport drivers.
“This bill recognizes the unique needs of livestock haulers,” said NCBA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall.
The proposed legislation only would allow HOS and electronic logging device (ELD) requirements to apply after a driver travels more than 300 air miles from the point of origin. Loading and unloading times would be exempt from HOS driving time. The HOS on-duty maximum hours would be extended to a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 18. Flexibility would be granted for drivers to rest at any point without counting against HOS time. Drivers would be allowed to complete a trip, regardless of HOS requirements, if within 150 air miles of the delivery point. After delivery is complete, the legislation ensures the driver will take a break for a period that is five hours less than the maximum on-duty time.
NCBA helped secure a delay in the implementation of ELDs for livestock haulers until September 30, 2019. However, the need for a long-term solution remains. In addition to supporting the Senate legislation, NCBA has submitted a petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting changes in the HOS rules for livestock haulers.