Livestock Haulers to See More Flexibility, Eased Regulations Following Tester Push

Senator’s proposed fixes to Electronic Logging Device regulations included in new Trump Administration rules

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – As part of his ongoing commitment to ensure Montana producers can get their product to market, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is applauding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) consideration of his proposals easing regulatory burdens on livestock haulers.

In December 2017, the Trump Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation implemented regulations requiring all commercial drivers to install Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in order to track compliance with strict Hours of Service regulations. The FMCSA recently proposed new rules-many of which were taken from Tester’s Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act-granting more flexibility to livestock haulers bringing their product to market.

“Drivers transporting live cargo have different needs than folks hauling other products,” Tester said. “Montana ranchers need flexibility to get their product to the auction on time, and it’s good to see the Administration moving in the right direction by easing the unfair regulations imposed on livestock haulers.”

The ELD-monitored Hours of Service regulations often prevent livestock haulers from completing trips safely and quickly, endangering their cargo and profit. The new FMCSA rules give livestock haulers more flexibility during adverse weather events and rest time, increase allotted drive times from 12 hours to 14 hours, and allow haulers to delay their Hours of Service until they are 150 air miles away from their point of origin.

“The United States Cattlemen’s Association is encouraged by recent action taken by FMCSA to address the restrictive Hours-of-Service rules,” said Kenny Graner, President of the United States Cattlemen’s Association. “Senator Tester has stood with livestock haulers on the need for regulatory flexibility time and time again, and we appreciate his role in crafting the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act for a more prescriptive Hours-of-Service solution for the U.S. livestock industry. We look forward to bringing that solution across the finish line with his leadership.”

Tester has been a leader in calling for a fix to ELD rules that unfairly impact livestock haulers. He introduced the bipartisan Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act the last two Congresses to address the issue and fought to exempt livestock haulers from ELD requirements until the end of the fiscal year during this year’s budget negotiations. He also introduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act this spring, which would establish a working group to help Congress create a solution for unfair Hours of Service rules.