Legislation to relax HOS for ag, livestock haulers reintroduced

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 24, 2021: 

Legislation reintroduced to relax HOS for livestock, ag haulers
Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer last week reintroduced the Haulers of Agriculture and Livestock Safety (HAULS) Act, which would implement several changes to the hours of service rules for livestock and agricultural commodities haulers.

Senators Jon Tester (D-Montana), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) joined Senator Fischer in introducing the HAULS Act. The legislation would: 

  1. Eliminate the requirement that ag and livestock hours-of-service exemptions only apply during state designated planting and harvesting seasons
  2. Amend and clarify the definition of “agricultural commodities” based on feedback provided by agriculture and livestock organizations
  3. Authorize a 150 air-mile exemption from HOS requirements on the destination side of a haul for ag and livestock haulers

The legislation would redefine "agricultural commodities" to include any non-processed product planted or harvested for food, feed, fuel or fiber; any living animal, including fish, insects and livestock; the non-processed products of any living animal, including milk, eggs, and honey; non-processed forestry, aquacultural, horticultural, and floricultural commodities; fresh or minimally processed fruits and vegetables, including fruits and vegetables that are rinsed, cooled, cut, ripened or otherwise minimally processed; and animal feed, including the ingredients of animal feed.

Rhode Island trucking company owner sentenced for falsifying FMCSA documents
The owner of Rhode Island-based trucking company CAT Transportation was sentenced to 30 months in jail, three years of supervised release and a $1,000 special assessment, according to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

OIG says Michael Chaves falsified Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration registration documents using the identification of another individual without that person's knowledge to show no affiliation with another company that was under a federal out-of-service order. Chaves also allegedly generated false documents to show compliance with FMCSA rules and regulations.