Hours of service Agriculture, forestry and fishing Transportation

Livestock haulers receive 1-year exemption from mandatory rest break

Washington – Livestock haulers will receive a one-year exemption from taking a mandated 30-minute break during an eight-hour shift, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced.

The exemption, which could be considered for renewal after one year has passed, follows a request by the National Pork Producers Council on behalf of livestock transporters. Livestock haulers argued that the mandatory rest break, which is part of FMCSA’s hours-of-service rule, poses problems because 30-minute stops in hot weather could endanger animals being transported without benefiting public safety.

Industry guidelines advise drivers to limit stopping in hot conditions because the airflow generated by moving vehicles helps keep animals cool. Some drivers already are exempt from the HOS rule, including those who haul livestock and other agricultural commodities within a radius of 150 air miles.

FMCSA had granted a 90-day exemption to livestock haulers last summer. The one-year exemption will take effect once FMCSA’s notice has been published in the Federal Register.