The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will take comments until Sept. 27 on a new effort to create a clearer definition of “agricultural commodities” in its hours-of-service regulations.
The advance notice of proposed rulemaking asks interested parties to weigh in on several questions on the hours of service regulation as it relates to agricultural products.
According to the Federal Register, during harvesting and planting seasons as determined by each state, drivers transporting agricultural commodities such as fresh produce — but also including livestock — are exempt from the hours-of-service requirements from the source of the commodities to a location within a 150-air-mile radius from the source.
“This advance notice or proposed rulemaking is prompted by indications that the current definition of these terms may not be understood or enforced consistently when determining whether the hours of service exemption applies,” the agency said.
The agency asked for input on these and other questions:
- Should FMCSA consider adopting a list of specific agricultural commodities, or clarify its current approach using a general definition?; and
- Are there cost or safety implications of adding specific commodities or livestock?