FMCSA UPDATES ON ELD AND HOS RULES, EXEMPTIONS, WAIVERS, AND GUIDANCE
As of December 18, 2017, the Electronic Logging Device final rule has gone into effect in the United States, although out-of-service orders will not be issued for non-compliance until April 1, 2018. Here is the latest from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on other ELD and hours of service implementation issues:
- 90-Day Waiver for Transporters of Agricultural Commodities
The FMCSA has granted a 90-day waiver from the ELD mandate for motor carriers transporting agricultural commodities (as defined in 49 CFR § 395.2). The waiver is in effect until March 18, 2018. The ELD waiver applies regardless of the distance traveled.
To be eligible to use the waiver, carriers must have a satisfactory fitness rating and keep a copy of the waiver in their vehicles. Drivers must complete paper Records of Duty Status, if applicable, and carriers must comply with all other Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
- Proposed Guidance on Transportation of Agricultural Commodities
The FMCSA has published proposed guidance to clarify the applicability of the “agricultural commodity” exception in the 49 CRF 395.1(k)(1) to the driver hours of service regulations, and requests public comments.
This proposed regulatory guidance would clarify the exception with regard to: (1) drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity, as defined in 49 CFR 395.2, or returning from a delivery point; and (2) drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity.
In addition, the agency seeks public comment on (1) whether grain elevators and/or livestock sale barns should be considered a “source” of agricultural commodities under section 395.1(k)(1); and (2) how the exception should apply when agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip.
- Proposed Guidance on Use of CMV for Personal Conveyance
The FMCSA has issued proposed revision to its guidance on the use of commercial motor vehicles for personal conveyance. The proposed guidance would remove the requirement that the CMV must be unladen for the driver to record the time as “off duty.” This will allow drivers of straight trucks to use the personal conveyance exemption in addition to drivers of combination vehicles, who may unhook the trailer to make a personal conveyance trip as off duty time