Since March 2020, there has been an hours of service exemption in place for freight related to the fight against COVID. After 10 modifications and extensions, the HOS exemption has drifted into memory, and some drivers and carriers are not happy about it.
Everything from masks to food to slaughter animals were able to be run under similar rules that are now in place for FEMA relief loads headed to Florida due to the impact of Hurricane Ian. Unfortunately, all those long hours of driving take a toll on a person, and crashes have gone up 13%.
Lawyers who target carriers and drivers after an accident love to see usage of the exemption in the court case. It means an easy win from tired driving and fat nuclear verdicts for violating the most important part of the exemption – “in a safe and legal manner.”
For once, the American Trucking Associations and Trucking Safety Coalition agreed on letting the exemption go to the dustbin of history. But livestock and animal feed haulers are not happy.
Are you afraid of a little poop?
Allow the farm boy of Back The Truck Up to explain why this move hit the bull haulers in the wallet harder than anyone else. Everyone in business should know what “shrink” is – that unrecoverable loss due to damage or theft that goes into the loss column of the tally sheet.
Shrink in the livestock community is the loss of weight, due either to solid or liquid waste. And cattle are sold by live weight at the feedout lots, making sure they arrive at the butchery with all the pounds still inside.
Being able to run non-stop from the corral to the cutting room meant more loads could be hauled without stopping for rest breaks. And you sure do not want a bull hauler to park next to you at night and have to smell that aroma for 10 hours straight.
Cows can lose around 100 pounds of weight during transport, most coming off during the first hour of transport. That is due to the animals’ nervousness, which gives them a “tummy ache” you could say. After that, they’re pretty chill until they realize their fate.
And yes, there is a scientific study on how much pee and poop a cow loses in a truck. You can thank the fine folks at the University of Missouri-Columbia for this report. You know I wouldn’t talk a line of poop without something to back it up, right?