In December, a regulation for truck drivers goes into place called the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Rule. In it, truckers have to install an ELD, which costs from $200 to $1,000 to keep records of travel, the rule limits them to 11 hours of driving per day, after 10 hours off duty.
However, the National Pork Producers Council asked for a waiver to that law. They are worried about trucks hauling live cattle and pigs.
In a letter to the Department of Transportation they say, "Livestock haulers are not, and will not be prepared to meet the December 18, 2017 compliance date."
Michael Formica, with the NPPC says at the end of 11 hours of driving, a driver is required to pull over and wait ten hours. If a semi is carrying live hogs, that could pose an animal welfare problem.
Formica says these rules were not made for livestock truck drivers because it's such a small part of the industry, "We're not asking for a permanent exemption for this. We realize there's a reason to have these. We're just seeking more time and then the ability to work with the Department of Transportation. To develop rules that are geared for the livestock industry."
That would look at both safety for drivers as well as special rules for trucks carrying live animals.
Formica says they have spoken to the Department of Transportation and he is hopeful they have understood live animal driver's concerns.