Senate Introduces Livestock Trucker Regulation

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The Senate has introduced legislation that reforms regulation for truckers called the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act. In it, some trucker regulations only start applying after a livestock driver travels more than three hundred air-miles from their source.

It also modifies the Hours of Service (HOS) rules, exempting loading and unloading as part of the driving time. Also allowing drivers to complete their trip regardless of hours of service requirements, as long as they come within 150 air-miles of their delivery point.

Law limits commercial truckers to 11 hours of driving time, this act bumps it up to 15 hours.

Michael Formica with the National Pork Producers Council says, "Which is what some states allow already in state, and Canada allows 15 hours, so we want it to be uniform across the board. And then it would dictate how much time and how much rest you'd need to take at the end of that day before you can begin driving again."

HOS and the Electronic Logging Device mandate started in December and had been suspended for livestock haulers to protect animals. Truckers were concerned if there were delays, they would be legally obligated to stop their truck for 10 hours, which they say could threaten livestock.

The bill is sponsored by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. In a statement she says, “The transport of agricultural commodities, particularly livestock, poses unique challenges not faced by other segments of the trucking industry.”

Formica agrees, "There's a variety of industries that need these changes. So they should have targeted rules based on the needs of those user groups. So, when hauling hogs have very specific needs. They're going to be different than someone hauling stereos, or somebody hauling sneakers."

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