FMCSA extends comment periods on hours changes for ag haulers, personal conveyance guidance

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FMCSA has extended the comment period for its proposal to expand ag haulers’ hours of service exemption, along with its proposal to slightly alter personal conveyance guidance.FMCSA has extended the comment period for its proposal to expand ag haulers’ hours of service exemption, along with its proposal to slightly alter personal conveyance guidance.

Fleets and other industry stakeholders have been given an extra month to comment on a proposal to expand and clarify hours of service exemptions for ag haulers, as well as a proposal to slightly change guidelines for personal conveyance, mostly related to straight trucks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in December issued a proposal to expand agriculture and livestock haulers’ 150-air-mile radius hours exemption to unladen vehicles within a 150-mile radius of the load’s source point and after its delivery. This would apply the exemption to ag haulers driving an unloaded truck to pick up a load and after they delivered a load, in addition to while they’re loaded and in transit.

The proposal was originally given a 30-day comment period, but the American Trucking Associations and others requested an extension of the comment period due to end-of-year holiday periods making it difficult for interested stakeholders to comment by the Jan. 19 deadline.

Those interested in commenting on the expansion of ag haulers’ hours of service exemption can now do so here through Feb. 20.

FMCSA is also extending the comment period on a December-issued proposal to alter the guidance for carriers and drivers using their truck as a personal vehicle to their home or to hotels or restaurants along their route.

The proposal would, if enacted, remove the requirements that trucks and trailers be unladen to be used for personal conveyance. FMCSA stated in the proposed rulemaking the change is mostly meant to allow straight truck drivers the chance to use their truck, even if loaded, for personal use.

Due to ATA and other stakeholder requests for a comment period extension, FMCSA has extended the comment period through Feb. 20. Those interested in commenting on the changes to personal conveyance guidance can do so here.