Federal agencies Transportation Trucking

Livestock haulers receive rest-break exemption for summer

Livestock truck

Washington – Drivers who transport livestock have received a temporary exemption from the mandated rest break that went into effect July 1 as part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service rule.

Under the rule, drivers must take one 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift. The exemption, granted for 90 days to carriers that do not have poor safety records, follows a late-June request from a group of livestock producers and drivers who stated that exposing live animals to hot weather while a driver stops the vehicle for 30 minutes would endanger the animals’ welfare without benefiting public safety. Industry guidelines advise drivers to limit stopping during hot weather because the airflow generated by moving vehicles helps keep animals cool.

FMCSA stated in the Federal Register notice that the waiver will be published July 11, which would make the exemption active until Oct. 9.