MSGA Submits Comments on the NPRM from DOT on Changes to Hours of Service

Recently, MSGA signed our name to NCBA’s submitted comments on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) from DOT on Changes to Hours of Service. 

The comments include support for a split sleeper berth program that would allow haulers to break up their rest period in commonsense ways. Suggestions included a few shorter rest periods during the haul followed by a longer “full rest” at the end of the drive. This would allow the driver to evaluate humidity and temperature and determine if a stop is tolerable for the animals they are hauling, which will allow them to rest to avoid traffic or other roadway hazards. 

Adverse driving conditions were also addressed as a part of the comments and encourage FMSCA to reevaluate the definition of an “adverse driving condition.” They  ask to have the definition be broad enough that livestock haulers find it useful so they can maintain roadway safety and animal welfare. 

The comments suggest a definition that includes language such as, “including- for live animal haulers only- ambient temperatures and humidity that the live animal hauler reasonably believes will be detrimental to the live animals onboard if the driver were to stop for any significant period of time.”

Sixty-seven state affiliates, including MSGA, signed their name to the comments submitted by NCBA. We hope the agency will continue to evaluate changes to the HOS framework with livestock haulers in mind. 

MSGA will continue to monitor this topic on behalf of Montana ranchers. 

Keni Reese
Manager of Communications, MSGA

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