U.S. Department of Transport undertakes hours of service review

The trucking industry has been concerned about the increasing number of regulations that prevent haulers from keeping clients happy and being profitable in the long-term. Livestock haulers specifically have taken issue with the implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule that took effect earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Friday 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.

READ:Trucker shortage threatens agricultural trade flows

The four 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.

This is the first hours of service review in 15 years, which the trucking industry says is long overdue. The changes could potentially provide targeted flexibility for livestock truckers.

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Canadian livestock haulers that haul live animals to the U.S. will be paying close attention to the hours of service review as they are just as effected as American based haulers. Canadian trucking firms have been implementing Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to be compliant with assorted off the record reviews.

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