FMCSA extends livestock hours-of-service exemptions 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Sept. 1 that it has extended the exemption from hours-of-service requirements for livestock haulers. The extension, which was set to expire on Aug. 31, will continue through midnight on Nov. 30, 2021. 

FMCSA first issued the exemption as part of an emergency declaration issued in March 2020 that granted regulatory relief to motor carriers providing support to COVID-19 relief efforts. The waiver on hours-of-service restrictions allows truckers to drive more than 11 hours per day without the required 10 consecutive hours of rest if necessary to care for livestock cargo.

The transportation of livestock and livestock feed has always been included within the exemption since the start of the COVID-19 national relief efforts. Other agricultural products are excluded from the emergency declaration, but they still qualify for the agricultural exemption to hours-of-service rules, which exempts haulers from hours-of-service rules for the portions of hauls that are within 150 air-miles of the origin of the shipment.

The bipartisan infrastructure package passed by the Senate in August includes hours-of-service flexibility for livestock haulers as well as a pilot program for 18-20 year old drivers to help address the nationwide truck driver shortage.