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Iowa Cattlemen’s Association seeks exemption from ELD mandate

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Rempel, Favel Livestock Hauler (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jr-transport/5894901830)

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) passes policy with hopes of becoming exempt from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate.

JanLee Rowlett serves as government and regulatory affairs manager for ICA. Rowlett says the “Recommendation of Livestock Haulers” policy hopes to address the ELD mandate and how the rule will work with the Hours of Service requirement.

“This is a challenge our producers are pretty concerned about, in that it has the ability to restrict the movement of cattle,” Rowlett said. “When you’re hauling living, breathing commodities, they need to get to their destination as soon as possible. There are animal health and animal welfare concerns we have about how this rule could keep cattle in places for too long and the effects of that.”

The Electronic Logging Device mandate, effective December 18, will require commercial motor vehicle operators involved in interstate commerce to use an Electronic Logging Device to keep electronic records of duty status. The mandate poses threat to the livestock haulers, who also have to comply with the Hours of Service rule.

The Hours of Service rule allows for a 14-consecutive hour driving window. Within the driving window, truck drivers can drive up to 11 hours. After 11 hours of drive time, truck drivers must remain off-duty for 10 consecutive hours.

Matt Deppe serves as chief executive officer for ICA. Deppe says the two rules, when combined, threaten animal welfare.

“Everyone in animal agriculture is connected to animal welfare. We, producers, are stewards of livestock and land. When animal welfare is potentially jeopardize, it’s a concern for us. Really, this ELD rule challenges that,” Deppe said. 

Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, requesting a one-year delay of the mandate in the House-passed transportation bill. The delay would give haulers time to work with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on the Hours of Service rule. Rowlett says ICA would appreciate a delay, but seeks an exemption.

Our policy supports an exemption, but we’re interested in any kind of delay, so that we can work towards more flexibility and work with the Agency to get some solutions to the problems this rule will present. We’re excited and optimistic about the one-year delay, but really know there are some long-term fixes that we need to find too,” Rowlett said.

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