DOT needs your help defining ‘agricultural commodity’ and ‘livestock’

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking input on whether it should clarify or revise the definitions of “agricultural commodity” or “livestock” in its hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

FMCSA made the announcement in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the July 29 Federal Register. Current regulations call for exemptions in HOS requirements during harvesting and planting season in each state. Drivers are exempt in a 150-air-mile radius from the source of that agricultural commodity.

In 49 CFR Part 395.2, FMCSA defines “agricultural commodity” as “any agricultural commodity, non processed food, feed, fiber or livestock.” The agency states that the newly published ANPRM “is prompted by indications that the current definitions of these terms may not be understood or enforced consistently when determining whether the HOS exemption applies.”

The comment period is open until Sept. 27.

In June 2018, FMCSA issued guidance intended to clarify both the agricultural commodities exemption and the “personal conveyance” provision in HOS regulations.

Proposed rule to amend trucker hours-of-service regs slated for publication in June, DOT says

Washington — June 7 is the target date for publication of a proposed rule intended to add flexibility to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers, according to a Department of Transportation regulatory update released in May.

The comment period on the proposed rule is scheduled to conclude July 26. An FMCSA spokesperson confirmed to Safety+Health that the proposed rule, which was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget on March 28, remains under OMB review.

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