Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced an additional 90-day extension of the agriculture exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. The mandate would have been problematic for the agriculture industry because the devices do not account for the agricultural exemptions currently provided in the law.
The ELD rule went into effect in December 2017, with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) granting the agriculture industry an initial exemption that was set to expire on March 18, 2018. With the granting of another extension, the agriculture industry will now have additional time to comply.
“The ELD mandate imposes restrictions upon the agriculture industry that lack flexibility necessary for the unique realities of hauling agriculture commodities. If the agriculture industry had been forced to comply by the March 18 deadline, live agricultural commodities, including plants and animals would have been at risk of perishing before they reached their destination. The 90-day extension is critical to give DOT additional time to issue guidance on hours-of-service and other ELD exemptions that are troubling for agriculture haulers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “Current ELD technologies do not recognize the hours-of-service exemptions for agriculture that are in federal law. This is a classic example of a one-size-fits-all federal regulation that ignores common sense to the detriment of sectors like agriculture."