SD Stockgrowers Association applaud the introduction of the Transporting Livestock Across American Safely Act, introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb) and co-sponsored by South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds. The bill would exempt haulers of live animals from the federal Hours of Service regulations within 300 miles of their origin, and would allow more flexibility in driving schedules.
“The ELD mandate, no doubt puts an undue burden on those who we trust to haul and care for our livestock. It will also create expenses that we as ranchers will be stuck with throughout the whole chain, from hauling to market, to buying food at the grocery store.” Gary Deering President of The South Dakota Stockgrowers explains.
The current regulations restricted the hours that a driver can be on the road when traveling more than 150 miles, limited their flexibility in resting times, and created confusion about when and how the rules applied. SD Stockgrowers have asked for clarification and flexibility to allow animals to be delivered safely and efficiently to ensure their humane treatment.
“This legislation appears to be a very common sense approach and provides some needed flexibility to drivers who are hauling live animals,” said Deering.. “Hauling live animals is a unique situation. The hauler is responsible for being safe on the road, but also getting those animals to their destination as quickly and humanely as possible.”
According to a press release from Senator Mike Rounds, the legislation specifically:
- Provides that hours of service and ELD requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300-air miles from their source. Drive time for hours of service purposes does not start until after 300-air mile threshold.
- Exempts loading and unloading times from the hours of service calculation of driving time.
- Extends the hours of service 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.
- Grants flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against hours of service time.
- Allows drivers to complete their trip – regardless of hours of service requirements – if they come within 150-air miles of their delivery point.
- After the driver completes his or her delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum on-duty time (10 hours if a 15-hour drive time).
“Thank you to Senator Rounds for his leadership in making these trucking regulations work for the real world of hauling livestock by giving drivers the ability to deliver animals in a way that keeps our highways and livestock safe.”