The ability to safely and efficiently haul livestock is critical not only for animal welfare but also for the viability of Virginia’s livestock operations. Farm Bureau recognizes that livestock haulers need flexibility in the hours they are permitted to be on the road so they can address the unique challenges of hauling live animals. Farm Bureau has been working towards hours of service reform in recent years and continues to push for reasonable and workable reforms.
We are asking the Department of Transportation to give livestock haulers flexibility in meeting certain hours of service requirements to better address the unique needs of the live animals they’re transporting, while still prioritizing road safety. You can view a copy of our comments by clicking here.
Farm Bureau’s comments to DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration were submitted in response to a petition filed by the organization and several others asking that DOT 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.
“Farm Bureau believes that the 11- and 14-hour rules were not drafted with livestock haulers in mind and thus do not accommodate the unique character of their loads and nature of their trips. Livestock hauling is like no other, and, therefore, requires flexibility due to the many circumstances that go along with hauling live animals,” the group said.
We encourage you to submit comments in support of the petition by March 8. Please use our comments as a general framework for your comment and add personal descriptions of your operation, how HOS affects your business and animals, and how these reforms would benefit you.
Click here to submit your comments.