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Date: 5/22/2018

Title: Three Takeaways: FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez Testifies at Transportation Hearing

This morning, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard from Ray Martinez, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Administrator Martinez provided testimony about a wide range of transportation issues, including the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) and Hours of Service (HOS) rules for livestock haulers. Here are three big takeaways:

  1. Working with the agricultural community is a top priority. In his opening statement, the Administrator stated that FMCSA is committed to addressing the unique needs of the agricultural community. Later, he told Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) that the agency is engaged in discussions with livestock haulers and hears their concerns. When asked about finding a long-term solution for livestock haulers, the Administrator replied: “We can get there.”
  2. FMCSA supports flexibility within HOS rules. While the Administrator stopped short of endorsing an extension in drive time, he did indicate that the HOS rules need to accommodate unique situations for certain industries. FMSCA is working on “finding ways to be flexible,” he said.
  3. No updates on NCBA’s petition for a five-year ELD exemption. Livestock haulers are operating under a temporary delay from ELD implementation until October 1, 2018. FMCSA has not yet responded to a petition for a five-year exemption, and the Administrator did not provide any updates to the committee. Regardless of what happens with the petition, livestock haulers need permanent changes to the HOS rules to ensure the well-being of animals in their care.

Going forward, NCBA and our affiliates will continue to engage with the Department of Transportation and Congress to find a long-term solution to HOS rules for livestock haulers.