Ag Groups Praise Legislation Clarifying the Agricultural Hours of Service Exemption
October 26, 2011 Discussed (1)
Transportation, Agriculture Hours of Service, From Capitol Hill, Statutes and Regulations, TFI Updates, Truck Transportation
TFI joined the Agricultural Retailers Association, the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Association and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives in voicing support for legislation introduced to clarify transportation regulations that are critical to the agricultural sector’s ability to expeditiously distribute farm supplies. Congressmen Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), along with 38 additional congressional co-sponsors, introduced the legislation intended to resolve questions regarding the agricultural hours of service exemption that were raised by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In 2009, FMCSA issued an interpretation of the regulations that resulted in transportation restrictions for certain farm supplies. The legislation introduced by Reps. Graves and Luetkemeyer amends aspects of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act, which served as the basis for FMCSA’s 2009 interpretation, to clarify the applicability of exemptions for agricultural products.
Specifically, the legislation clarifies that the agricultural hours of service exemption is applicable to:
- Drivers transporting agricultural commodities within a 100 air-mile radius;
- Drivers transporting farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale or retail business to a farm or other location where the farm supplies are intended to be used within a 100 air-mile radius from the distribution point; or
- Drivers transporting farm supplies from a wholesale location to a retail location so long as the transportation is within a 100 air-mile radius.
TFI appreciates the support of members who contacted their members of Congress to encourage them to become co-sponsors. The Institute also wishes to thank the Agriculture Retailers Association (ARA), the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) and the Agricultural Transporters Conference for their efforts related to this issue. TFI worked closely with all three organizations to ensure a positive outcome on this matter for the fertilizer industry and agricultural community.