The FMCSA extends comment periods for ag haulers and personal conveyance guidelines’ proposals
The FMCSA extends comment periods for ag haulers and personal conveyance guidelines’ proposals

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the comment periods for the HOS exemption proposal for ag haulers and the proposal to slightly alter the existing personal conveyance guidelines.

The FMCSA is now seeking comments on both these proposals until February 20, 2018.

Here are the details of each proposal.

Proposal for ag haulers

According to the existing regulations, livestock and ag haulers are allowed to operate within the 150 air-miles radius of the source of the ag products or livestock without maintaining records of duty status (RODs).

The FMCSA, in December 2017, proposed that ag haulers should be allowed the 150 air-mile radius hours-of-service exemption even when they are hauling unloaded vehicles. This regulation would be applicable within a radius of 150 air-mile from the source of the load and after its delivery.

In the words of the FMCSA, the change would apply to “a driver operating an unladen commercial motor vehicle — either to a source to pick up an agricultural commodity or on a return trip following delivery of an agricultural load.”

Initially, the comment period was until January 19, but the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and other groups requested the agency to extend the time period.

Now comments can be made until February 20, 2018. You can comment here.

Proposal for new personal conveyance guidelines

In December 2017, the FMCSA proposed to slightly modify the new personal conveyance guidelines. The new proposal — if enacted — would allow truck drivers to use their commercial vehicles for personal conveyance even when they are carrying work or load-related materials.

The FMCSA has extended the comment period for this proposal until February 20, 2018. Comments can be made here.

One important thing to note here is that although the FMCSA’s proposal allows drivers personal conveyance when carrying load-related materials, there are a few cases that the proposal does not cover. For instance:

  •   Moving closer to a pickup location or drop-off point.
  •   Driving bobtail or with an empty trailer to a location to pick up another load.
  •   Driving an unloaded truck to a designated parking spot after it is unloaded.
  •   Repositioning the vehicle in the direction of the motor carrier.

If you want to learn more about the FMCSA’s proposal to slightly modify the existing personal conveyance guidelines, read the following post: the FMCSA proposes to change guidelines on personal conveyance.

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