In this file:

 

·         Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act: Squeaky Wheel Gets Grease

… The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act is supported by the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United States Cattlemen’s Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Honey Producers Association and Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union…

 

·         Support your local cattle trucker

Submit your comments now in support of the livestock haulers’ exemption from the ELD mandate and hours of serviced limitations.

 

 

Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act: Squeaky Wheel Gets Grease

 

Jennifer Shike, Drovers

March 6, 2019

 

Livestock groups strongly support bipartisan legislation that was reintroduced last week by Sens. John Hoeven, R-ND, and Michael Bennet, D-CO, to reform U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Hours of Service (HOS) and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations.

 

The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act would establish a working group at DOT to identify barriers to the transportation of agricultural commodities, including pigs and cattle, posed by outdated and incompatible regulations. Within one year, the group would deliver an action plan for reforms that support the continued safe, humane transportation of agricultural commodities.

 

“These are important issues that impact all livestock producers,” says Michael Formica, assistant vice president and council for domestic policy at the National Pork Producers Council.

 

The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act is supported by the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United States Cattlemen’s Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Honey Producers Association and Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union.

 

The current HOS rules were created by the DOT for legitimate safety purposes, Formica says. However, they were designed around old technologies and not with shipping livestock in mind.

 

“We need to do more education about livestock transportation,” he says. “We face different realities when transporting livestock. What is safe for drivers? What are the best practices for the animals?”

 

The proposed working group would be comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries...

 

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https://www.drovers.com/article/modernizing-agricultural-transportation-act-squeaky-wheel-gets-grease

 

 

Support your local cattle trucker

Submit your comments now in support of the livestock haulers’ exemption from the ELD mandate and hours of serviced limitations.

 

Steve Dittmer, Commentary, BEEF Magazine 

Mar 06, 2019

 

Dittmer is a longtime beef industry commentator and executive vice president of the Agribusiness Freedom Foundation.

 

Many cattlemen and all feeders at one time or another have depended on a livestock trucker to be there when they needed them or even get them out of a jam.

 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) didn’t really mean to complicate those important and time sensitive transactions but it certainly did. The introduction of mandatory electronic logging devices (ELD) and hours of service limitations hit the livestock hauling business—and cattlemen—like a bomb. Luckily, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration listened to our pleas and has put off regulation while everyone worked to find some sort of solution.

 

Now cattlemen have a chance to help their trucker and their own operation at the same time, as livestock and marketing groups try to hammer out a solution. The groups have filed an application for exemption from some of the limitations. The deadline to comment in support is Friday, March 8, by midnight EST.

 

Current rules from DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limit drive time to 11 hours and on-duty hours to 14. The industry’s petition requests that livestock haulers be granted approval to drive up to 15 hours with a 16-hour on-duty period, following a 10-hour consecutive rest period.

 

According to Josh Winegarner, Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) director of government relations, any livestock hauler operating under the extended drive time would have to complete pre-trip planning and fatigue-management training.

 

The petition includes the request, research on modern fatigue management and explanation that runs to 27 pages. Perhaps the most important point from the start is the petition’s reminder that this issue deals with a “specialized subset of experienced drivers who handle and haul the nation’s livestock…”

 

That is, this request isn’t about all truckers but drivers who have been doing this for decades without any more fuss than it’s a required part of a very specialized job. In addition, the knowledge and ability to handle livestock is an essential requirement of the job.

 

The petition reminds the regulators that loading and unloading livestock may sound easy to the lay person but entails risk to animal health, safety and welfare that are unacceptable except at the beginning and the very end of a haul.

 

Using driving teams would nearly double transportation costs, complicated by the already short supply of truck drivers, increasing costs to cattlemen and eventually, to consumers.

 

Some other points the livestock associations, including NCBA, suggest might be included in comments from cattlemen ...

 

Directions on how to comment ...

 

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https://www.beefmagazine.com/commentary/support-your-local-cattle-trucker