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Safety Corner

Ask our panel of experts, Marc, Guy and Brayn, any questions you may have around fleet safety, compliance, DOT audits, roadside inspections, CSA scores, or installation best practices. 

Ask our panel of experts, Marc, Guy and Brayn, any questions you may have around fleet safety, compliance, DOT audits, roadside inspections, CSA scores, or installation best practices.

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Many carriers reach out to me on the specifics of the AG hauling in the U.S. For information on how to handle the Agricultural Exemption in the BigRoad ELD app, refer to this blog

Further in the blog, I have compiled a few scenarios to help illustrate the Agricultural Commodity Regulatory Guidance.

 

Primary Agricultural HOS Exemption 49 CFR 395.1(k)

150 air-mile Agricultural Exception

The provisions of Part 49 CFR 395-Hours of Service shall not apply during planting and harvesting periods, as determined by each State.

(1) Agricultural commodities from the source of the agricultural commodities to a location within a 150 air-mile {172.6 statute mile} radius from the source;

395.2 Definition
Agricultural commodity means any agricultural commodity ,non-processed food, feed, fiber, or livestock (including livestock as defined in sec. 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 [7U.S.C.1471] and insects).

(2) Farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale or retail distribution point of the farm supplies to a farm or other location where the farm supplies are intended to be used within a 150 air-mile radius from the distribution point; or

395.2 Definition
Farm supplies for agricultural purposes means products directly related to the growing or harvesting of agricultural commodities during the planting and harvesting seasons within each State, as determined by the State ,and livestock feed at any time of the year.

(3) Farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale distribution point of the farm supplies to a retail distribution point of the farm supplies within a 150 air-mile radius from the wholesale distribution point.

395.2 Definition
Farm supplies for agricultural purposes means products directly related to the growing or harvesting of agricultural commodities during the planting and harvesting seasons within each State, as determined by the State, and livestock feed at any time of the year.

The 395.1(k) agricultural HOS exception is NOT limited to any specific type of carrier/operator. Eligibility is determined by the nature of the load on-board, the source and destination of the load, and the air-mile radius from the source of the load.

 

Scenario 1

Does the agricultural commodity exception (§ 395.1(k)(1)) apply to drivers while driving unloaded within 150 air-miles of the place where an agricultural commodity will be loaded, and to that portion of an unloaded return trip which occurs within a 150 air-mile radius of the place where the agricultural commodity was loaded?

Yes, provided that the trip does not involve transporting other cargo and the sole purpose of the trip is to make a pick-up or delivery of agricultural commodities, as defined in § 395.2. In that case, driving and on-duty time are not limited, nor do other requirements of 49 CFR part 395 apply.

AG exemption image 1-01

 

Scenario 2

Does the agricultural commodity exception (§395.1(k)(1)) apply if the destination for the commodity is beyond the 150 air-mile radius from the source?

Yes, the exception applies to transportation during the initial 150 air-miles from the source of the commodity, regardless of the distance to the final destination.

AG exemption image 2-01

 

Scenario 3

AG exemption image 3-01

Scenario 4

AG exemption image 4-01

 

How is the “source” of the agricultural commodities in §395.1(k)(1) determined?

The “source” of an agricultural commodity, as the term is used in§395.1(k)(1), is the point at which an agricultural commodity is loaded onto an unladen commercial motor vehicle. The location may be any intermediate storage or handling location away from the original source at the farm or field, provided the commodity retains its original form and is not significantly changed by any processing or packing.

 

How is the “source of the agricultural commodities” determined if the driver makes multiple pick-ups of the commodity en route to the final destination?

When a driver loads some of an agricultural commodity at a “source” and then loads more of that commodity at additional stops, the first place where the commodity was loaded is the measuring point for the 150 air-mile radius.

 

Scenario 5

AG exemption image 5

 

Will the time a driver spends operating inside the 150 air-mile radius of the source count toward a driver’s HOS calculations?

No. The time a driver spends operating inside the 150 air-mile radius of the source does not count toward a driver’s HOS calculations.

 

Scenario 6

AG exemption image 6

 

 

 

 

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Regulatory Guidance

Exceptions

  1. The short-haul operations exception for preparing a logbook found in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) for drivers who operate within a 100 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location for vehicles that require a CDL and work no longer than 12 hours a day.
  2. The short-haul operations exception for preparing a logbook found in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(2) for drivers who operate within 150 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location for vehicle that do not require a CDL.
  3. Vehicles that are older than model year 2000, as reflected on the vehicle’s identification number as shown on the registration.
  4. Drivers who are required to complete paper records of duty status eight (8) days or fewer in any 30-day period.

 

Sec. 132 of Title I of Division L of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018”

  1. Prohibits enforcement of the requirement for an electronic logging device by livestock transporters.
  2. This provision is effective from March 23 to December 7, 2018 unless extended by Congress. Note: Congress extended exemption until September 30, 2019 under the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act (H.R. 6079, S. 2938). Therefore, paper logs continue to be acceptable.
  3. The section defines “livestock” as in the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 and insects.

 

Recording hours of service when transporting an agricultural commodity

  • Option 1
    A driver can operate within the 150-air mile radius without logging into the ELD, and then log into the ELD once the vehicle reaches the 150-air mile radius limit. Driving time within the 150-air mile radius will be identified on the ELD as “unidentified driving” time. The driver will reject the unidentified driving time on the ELD and the motor carrier must annotate the ELD data to explain that the “unidentified driving” time occurred while operating under an agricultural HOS exemption.
  • Option 2
    The driver can log into the ELD when coming on duty and identify the time operating within the 150-air mile radius with an ELD annotation stating that the vehicle was operating under an agricultural HOS exemption.
  • Option 3
    If authorized by the motor carrier, the driver can log into the ELD when coming on duty and identify the time operating within the 150 air-mile radius as authorized personal use (personal conveyance). A driver operating a CMV under the authorized personal conveyance provision must select on the ELD the personal conveyance driving category before the start of the status and deselect when the indicated status ends.

The above information is for informational purposes only, and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice.

  May 02, 2019     Marc Moncion

Ask the expert - Marc Moncion (Safety, compliance and regulatory affairs expert)

 

Marc Moncion linkedin2

Lead Expert - Fleet Complete

Marc is the Head of Safety, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs at Fleet Complete. He is an author and industry subject matter expert who has worked in numerous senior transportation management roles for over 25 years, including an Inspector for the MTO. Marc sits on several Federal/State/provincial regulatory bodies and frequently provides commentary on emerging technology, best practices and regulatory affairs. In addition, Marc is a commercial driver's licence (CDL) holder and can drive all types of commercial vehicles in North America.

Get to know Marc here!

 


 

Ask The Expert - Guy Broderick (Driver trainer)

 

Guy Broderick linkedin2

Guest Expert - APPS Transport Group

Guy is a Driver Recruiter/Training Supervisor and Social Media Specialist at APPS Transport Group. Certified under the WSIB guidelines and a member of JHSC, Guy is an integral force behind the company's impeccable driving record. The APPS Safety Team has achieved the highest rating of Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration (CVOR) given by the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario. Since 2010, Guy has written for and contributed to numerous publications and associations, as well as has been elected as Chair of Ontario College of Trades Tractor Trailer Driver Trade Board, recently re-elected as Chair for the TTSAO Carrier Group, has sat on numerous provincial industry committees and is a Award Winning Driver recognized on both sides of the border.

 


 

Ask The Expert - Brayn Levi Gomez (professional installer)

 

Brayn Gomez  linkedin2

Guest Expert - Certified Professional Installer

Brayn transformed his passion and hobby of installing multimedia devices and car kits in luxury vehicles into a career in 2004. Since then, Brayn has installed thousands of electronics and GPS systems in a variety of vehicles and machines with or without a power source, even on bicycles. Bryan provides professional installation, re-installation and on-site technical services to Fleet Complete customers. Throughout his career, Brayn has encountered the effects of improper GPS system installation on the integrity of the vehicle and driver's safety, and offers his insights and tips to help ensure fleet managers and technicians are using best practices to install GPS equipment in their vehicles.