Turfgrass Producers International has been working closely with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on recent legislation regarding Hours of Service (HOS) and Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) since 2017. A new mandate on Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents was published in the federal register in 2015 under Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0167. This mandate established minimum performance standards for ELDs and required their use for documenting hours of service after the full compliance date took effect on December 16th, 2019. While the rule and the date seemed clear, it caused much confusion among truck drivers and law enforcement officials with regard to who could claim agricultural exemptions relieving them of HOS and ELD requirements. This confusion caused many agricultural associations, including TPI, to reach out to the FMCSA directly for clarity.
One Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published in September of 2018 under Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0248 called for industry comments in four specific areas including the short-haul HOS exemption, adverse driving conditions, the 30-minute rest break provision, and the sleeper berth rule to allow drivers to split their required sleeper berth time. On May 14th, 2020 the FMCSA published a final rule around these changes, and they will take effect 120 days after the date of publication. Complete details on this final rule can be found on FMCSA’s website at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-department-transportation-modernizes-hours-service-rules-improve-safety-and-increase and in the July/August issue of Turf News magazine.
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