Bill Would Ease Burdensome Federal Regs on Haulers, Set More Flexible Rules

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) has renewed her support for legislation to ease federal hours of service (HOS) and electronic logging device (ELD) regulations imposed on haulers of livestock and insects.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act (S.1255), which was reintroduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).  Hyde-Smith cosponsored identical legislation last year.

“Livestock haulers need flexibility from the strict federal regulations that mandate when to initiate electronic monitoring and when to take a rest.  As a cattle farmer, I know the problems that can arise from long stops where the livestock are exposed to bad weather and other factors,” Hyde-Smith said.  “This legislation responsibly addresses highway safety concerns, as well as the specific needs of livestock haulers.”

For haulers transporting livestock, live fish, and insects, HOS rules require ELDs to be activated after a driver crosses a 150-air mile radius of where their load originated.  Haulers are then required to track their on-duty time and can only drive 11 hours before taking a mandatory 10-hour rest.  While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is evaluating the impact of the HOS requirements for livestock, it is not expected to make any substantial changes to these requirements.

S.1255 would establish new HOS/ELD standards for livestock haulers by:

  • Holding HOS and ELD requirements as inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300-air miles from the origin of their load.  Drive time for HOS purposes would not begin until after 300-air mile threshold is crossed.
  • Exempting loading and unloading times from the HOS drive time calculations.
  • Extending the HOS on-duty time maximum hour requirement from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 18 hours of on-duty time.
  • Granting flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during a trip without counting against HOS time.
  • Allowing haulers to complete a trip, regardless of HOS requirements, if they are within 150-air miles of the delivery point.
  • Ensuring that, after the driver completes their delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is five hours less than the maximum on-duty time (10 hours if a 15-hour drive time).

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Livestock Marketing Association, and the American Farm Bureau support this bipartisan legislation.

In addition to Hyde-Smith, the Sasse legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Debbie Fischer (R-Neb.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Doug Jones (R-Ala.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Jon Tester (R-Mont.).

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith Press Release