The U.S. Department of Transportation granted a one-year exemption to the Hours-of-Service requirement for the transportation of livestock. The Hours-of-Service rules required all commercial motor vehicle operators, including livestock transporters, to take a 30-minute rest break for every eight hours of service. This is in addition to all scheduled stops not counting time for refueling and other breaks.
In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)granted livestock haulers a 90-day waiver during the hot summer months with no adverse effects to safety. As authorized by Congress, FMCSA carefully considers and collects public comments on all applications for exemptions from federal regulations, including HoS for truck drivers. To date, FMCSA has received four petitions for exemptions, which only address the 30 minute break requirement of the HoS rule, and this is the second to be granted.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Victoria, Texas, cattleman, Bob McCan said the move alleviates many of the concerns of cattlemen and women as they face warmer temperatures this summer.
“This is great news for livestock producers and for the health of our herds,” said McCan. “As we come into summer, cattle producers have expressed concerns to the DOT that these rules would jeopardize the health and safety of our cattle. For over a year this has been a major priority for the NCBA and our members, but we will continue to urge DOT to make this exemption permanent. This exemption is a common-sense move that keeps our herds and our nation’s highways safe.”
The hours of service exemption will be effective immediately.