Transportation Trucking Federal agencies

Final rule exempts livestock, bee transporters from HOS requirements

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Photo: Casarsa/iStockphoto

Washington – Commercial drivers who transport livestock and bees are exempt from certain hours-of-service requirements as part of a final rule published July 22 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Under the final rule – which was mandated by Congress in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, also known as the FAST Act – the required 30-minute rest breaks for drivers do not apply to those hauling livestock or bees, provided the livestock and bees are in the vehicle.

The final rule also updates the following:

  • Drivers of ready-mixed concrete vehicles may use time spent waiting with their vehicle at a jobsite or terminal to meet requirements for a 30-minute rest break.
  • Drivers of ready-mixed concrete vehicles are exempt from maintaining records-of-duty status as long as they operate within a 100-mile radius of the normal work reporting location, return to the work reporting location and finish work within 14 hours, receive at least 10 hours off duty for each 14 hours on duty, and do not surpass 11 hours of driving time after 10 hours off duty.
  • States have the discretion to waive the existing requirement for a commercial driver to obtain hazardous materials endorsement to transport a maximum of 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
  • Agency exemptions may be granted for up to five years instead of up to two years as previously allowed.

The request for exemption concerning bee transport originally was made by the California Farm Bureau Federation, which said the insects must have cool, fresh air on their hives and that a 30-minute stop in warm weather could place them in significant danger.

The changes went into effect immediately and did not require a notice of proposed rulemaking or public comment period because of a clause within the Administrative Procedure Act.

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