January 29, 2018

The FMCSA extends comment periods for new personal conveyance guidelines and HOS changes for ag haulers

The FMCSA extends comment periods for two proposals

The FMCSA has decided to extend the comment periods for:

For both these proposals, the FMCSA has extended the comment deadline until February 20, 2018.

Here are the details:

The hours-of-service exemption for ag haulers

In December 2017, the FMCSA issued a proposal that would expand the 150 air-miles radius hours-of-service exemption for livestock and ag haulers.

According to current regulations, ag haulers who operate within the 150 air-mile radius of the source of their ag products or livestock are exempt from maintaining records of duty status.

The FMCSA’s new proposal would expand the exemption to include ag haulers operating unladen vehicles within a radius of 150 air-mile from the load’s source and after its delivery.

In other words, it means that the exemption would include ag haulers driving an unloaded vehicle on their way to pick up a load, after they delivered the load, and while the truck is loaded and in transit.

This proposal by the FMCSA originally had a 30-day comment period — until January 19, 2018. The American Trucking Associations — along with some other groups and industry stakeholders — requested the FMCSA to extend the comment period.

The FMCSA is now seeking comments until February 20.

New personal conveyance guidelines

In December 2017, the FMCSA also issued a proposal to slightly alter the personal conveyance guidelines.

According to the new proposal, the FMCSA would remove the requirement that commercial motor vehicles must be unladen before they can be used for personal conveyance. In other words, if the proposal is enacted, truckers would be allowed to use their CMVs for personal conveyance even if they are carrying load-related materials.

The agency also emphasized that the proposal would not cover “movement of a [truck] to enhance operational readiness” — for example, moving closer to a pickup location or drop-off point.

The following acts are also prohibited from personal conveyance use:

  1. Driving bobtail or with an empty trailer to a location to pick up another load.
  2. Driving an unloaded truck to a designated parking area after being unloaded.
  3. Repositioning a CMV or trailer in the direction of the motor carrier.

For more details, read this blog post: the FMCSA proposes new personal conveyance guidelines.

The FMCSA has extended the comment period for this proposal to Feb 20, 2018. You can comment by clicking here.

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