The Department of Transportation is accepting comments through March 8 on a petition requesting additional flexibility on hours of service requirements for truck drivers. Farm Bureau, along with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and National Aquaculture Association, submitted the petition. It would allow drivers who complete fatigue management training, have a sufficient safety record and are willing to follow certain documentary requirements to drive 15 hours during a 16-hour work day and rest the currently required 10 hours. Current rules limit drive time to 11 hours and limit on-duty hours to 14.
A 2014 analysis by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that livestock haulers were underrepresented in truck-involved fatal crashes. Data cited in the petition also shows that, between 2013 and 2015, livestock haulers accounted for 6.6 percent of all commercial drivers but less than 1 percent of crashes involved large trucks. The docket and directions on how to comment can be found at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2018-0334.