The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has decided to renew livestock haulers’ exemption of the 30-minute break required by current hours-of-service regulations.
The ag haulers’ leg of the American Trucking Associations requested the exemption be renewed to “enable the drivers to safeguard the health of livestock during long-haul deliveries without having to take the rest break,” according to the exemption application.
The exemption has been renewed for two years, through June 12, 2017.
The National Pork Producers Council 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, but approximately 145,000 of those drivers are deemed short-haul drivers, who are already exempt from the break provision. So, FMCSA says, the exemption applies to fewer than 135,000 drivers.