Livestock haulers granted exemption to hours rule’s break requirement

ivestock trailerDrivers carrying livestock will soon be exempt from the 30-minute break rule required by federal hours-of-service rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced June 6.

The exemption will last a year and will begin on the date of publication in the Federal Register, expected soon.

The exemption is “to ensure the well-being of the nation’s livestock during interstate transportation,” according to FMCSA’s notice.

The exemption builds on the 90-day waiver granted to livestock haulers last summer, after the National Pork Producers Council petitioned FMCSA.

NPPC said complying with the break provisions of the 2013 HOS rule — which requires drivers to take a 30-minute break from driving within the first eight hours on-duty — could place the health of the animals being hauled at risk, especially in hot conditions.

FMCSA estimates there are about 250,000 drivers in the U.S. who haul livestock.

The beginning and end dates of the exemption will be published when they become available.

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