Farm Bureau is 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.

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.

In granting the exemption, DOT would be bringing HOS rules up to date with current approaches to fatigue management and aligning those rules with Secretary Chao’s performance-based, data-driven approach for overseeing the safety of the nation’s transportation systems and operators.

Along with Farm Bureau, the petition was signed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and the National Aquaculture Association.

State Farm Bureaus and others are encouraged to submit comments in support of the petition by March 8. The docket and directions on how to comment can be found here.