U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the subcommittee on Transportation and Safety, introduced legislation that would provide livestock haulers flexibility and relief from hours-of-service rules. The Haulers of Agriculture and Livestock Safety or HAULS Act aims to expand uniformity and clarity for the transportation of all agricultural products.
“Ag and livestock haulers are essential to ensuring Nebraska food and fuel make it across the country. Their vital work has been further highlighted by their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to introduce the HAULS Act, which builds on my previous work to ensure ag and livestock haulers can continue feeding our nation,” said Senator Fischer.
Specifically, the HAULS Act would:
- Eliminate the requirement that ag and livestock hours-of-service (HOS) exemptions only apply during state designated planting and harvesting seasons
- Amend and clarify the definition of “agricultural commodities” based on feedback provided by agriculture and livestock organizations
- Authorize a 150 air-mile exemption from HOS requirements on the destination side of a haul for ag and livestock haulers
Ag groups applauded the introduction of the bill with American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval saying, “The HAULS Act modernizes trucking regulations to meet the needs of our members,” adding, “I applaud Senator Fischer for her leadership on this important issue.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Marty Smith said, “For years livestock haulers and producers were unduly burdened with Hours of Service regulations that do not take into account the unique difficulties that these drivers face every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has only further illustrated how important it is to allow these drivers to quickly and safely reach their destinations, and in turn keep grocery store shelves stocked with beef.”
Full text of the legislation is available here.
Senator Deb Fischer/NCBA/NAFB/Northern Ag Network