While most truckers are constrained to strict Hours of Service (HOS) compliance rules, there are a few segments of the industry which get a little more wiggle room. Now, the powerful ag lobby is petitioning to expand its already generous exemptions. The new exemption being considered by the FCMSA would allow livestock haulers at least 18 hours of on-duty time per day.
Multiple agricultural groups have filed a petition with the FMCSA for a further exemption from HOS rules.
Currently, truckers are allowed a 14-hour on-duty period per day with a limit of 11 hours spent behind the wheel. Ag haulers are hoping to expand that to a 16-hour on-duty period, 15 hours of which can be spent behind the wheel.
This is separate from the exemption which already allows ag haulers to operate without HOS restrictions within 150 air-miles of their origin point. So even if a trucker was driving 75mph in a perfectly straight line away from their pickup, they would still have an extra 2 hours of on-duty time in addition to their 16 hours once the clock starts.
Groups signing the exemption request include the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Livestock Marketing Association; American Farm Bureau Federation; American Beekeeping Federation; American Honey Producers Association; and the National Aquaculture Association.
You can comment on the exemption request here until March 8th, 2019.