People wishing to become a livestock driver must obtain a commercial driver's license. They take 30-question written tests concerning driving safety and truck parts, with a score of 80 percent required to pass. Driving skills are assessed using a commercial vehicle under the supervision of a licensed instructor. Those testing for their CDL must provide medical certification proving they are not epileptic, colorblind or unable to operate the vehicle's controls due to a medical condition.
In addition to the CDL, livestock drivers also need to be familiar with the animals they are hauling. Drivers must know how to herd livestock, as well as to identify cattle who may not be in the best of health. The welfare of the livestock is the driver's highest priority; getting them to their destination quickly and safely is also required.
Livestock drivers work long hours, but are often exempt from requirements imposed on other CDL drivers. For example, livestock drivers are not required to take breaks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a CDL driver's shift. However, this requirement is lifted for livestock drivers, as their living cargo become endangered during warm weather and need to reach their final destination quickly to stay out of harm's way.