FMCSA denies ag groups’ request for trucking waiver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has denied a request from several ag groups to exempt truckers from certain hours-of-service rules. The ruling, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, said the exemption would not create safe conditions for drivers.
Kent Bacus with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the decision adds more stress to a supply chain that is already struggling. “Now we’re going to try to troubleshoot some of the scenarios driver’s face,” he says. “And it means in some instances we may have to have tandem drivers. It may mean we have to offload cattle in certain areas. That just creates more stress on our shippers and it creates more stress on the livestock.”
Bacus says the industry needs to be able to move cattle from one point to another safely and efficiently, but the blanket rule from FMCSA makes that very difficult.
He tells Brownfield the groups will continue to push for other solutions. “We’re going to have to look at our allies in Congress,” he says. “And we’re going to have to look at other means potentially try to bring some relief to this very important segment of our supply chain.”
U.S. Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas says hauling livestock presents unique challenges that the one-size-fits-all hours-of-service rule does not accommodate and the rejection of this request keeps a layer of bureaucracy and red tape on an industry that already struggles to find workers and meet consumer demands.
In addition to NCBA, the Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association, and National Aquaculture Association had requested the waiver from FMCSA.
AUDIO: Kent Bacus, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association