ELD waiver for ag haulers sunsets soon

Enforcement of the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate for drivers who haul agricultural commodities is just weeks away, with the six-month exemption granted by the DOT to such truckers sunsetting June 18.

Truckers who haul livestock and insects still have until the end of September to adopt an electronic logging device, due to a Congressional directive passed in March. But drivers hauling non-livestock ag commodities, such as produce, feed and fertilizer, must begin using an ELD to record duty status by June 19, the date that enforcers will begin issuing citations and out-of-service orders for non-compliance, says the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

FMCSA in December announced they were providing ag haulers an extra three months — until March 18 — to adopt an ELD, but later extended the waiver until June. The extensions were meant to give the agency time to “continue to work on outreach and communication with the ag community so that they have the fullest understanding of the rule and regulations,” said FMCSA head of enforcement Joe DeLorenzo in March.

An FMCSA spokesperson last week confirmed that ag haulers’ six-month compliance extension lasts through June 18, with enforcement beginning June 19.

Drivers who haul agricultural commodities within a 150-air-mile radius of their load’s source are exempt from hours of service regulations, meaning they will not have to adopt an ELD before the June 19 enforcement date. Only drivers required to keep records of duty status will need to comply with the ELD mandate.