Loading the content... Loading depends on your connection speed!

Positive step on hours of service for livestock haulers

Allison Rivera, Executive Director of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, released the following statement in response to the announcement Tuesday from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Hours of Service (HOS) regulations:

“We are grateful for FMCSA’s willingness to consider options for flexibility on Hours of Service rules. NCBA will continue to work constructively to find a long-term solution that gives livestock haulers the flexibility they need within Hours of Service to protect the welfare of animals in their care. The proposals released today are a positive step towards focusing on needed changes to Hours of Service, but more specific changes that address the unique realities of the livestock hauling industry are still needed. We will continue to work with FMCSA to provide flexibility for the livestock hauling industry.”
 
Background

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers. More details can be found here or reading below.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Aug. 21, 2018, that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available here.

The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time.  Further information is available here

Information on current HOS regulations is available here.

Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available here.

Aug 22, 2018 General Discussion, Issues & Policy