U.S. Dept. of Transportation Requirements Impact Transport of Ag Commodities

  • On July 5, 2018
  • ASTA, Federal, Government, Seed, transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires commercial vehicle drivers to install electronic logging devices (ELDs) in their trucks to track compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) rules. As of June 18, a limited 90-Day Waiver for the Transportation of Agricultural Commodities has expired. The ELD mandate includes commercial drivers who prepare HOS records to connect an electronic logging device to a vehicle’s engine to record driving hours.

Currently, a commercial motor vehicle driver engaged in the transportation of agricultural products (seed) is exempt from hours of service regulations when operating within a 150 air-mile radius of the source of the agricultural product during planting and harvesting periods that are defined by each state. The ELD mandate does apply to seed companies transporting agricultural products outside of a 150 air-mile radius. For example, if a seed producer is shipping seed from their plant in Iowa to North Dakota they must record under the ELD mandate. However, if transporting seed from a warehouse in Iowa to an Iowa location within 150 miles, they would not have to record and an exemption still applies.

ASTA is monitoring a number of bills that may provide relief for seed companies. Links with information related to the text can be found below. ASTA will continue to provide updates as legislation moves forward.

Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 (HR 5948)

Agricultural Business Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018 (HR 5949)

Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety Act, or HOURS Act, (HR 6178)

DRIVE-Safe Act (HR 5358)