Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel Richard Gupton released the following statement in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published final rule updating hours of service (HOS) rules:
"This is welcome news. An update to HOS rules has been a priority for ag retailers for a long time. We are grateful that the Department of Transportation and the administration took our comments into consideration with this final rule.
"Perhaps most notable reforms in the rule are the change to the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on duty period from 12 to 14 hours and the extension of the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles. The reforms to the short-haul exemption air mile radius now makes it consistent with the Hours of Service agricultural exemption utilized by the industry.
"This new rule will provide ag retailers with more flexibility to more efficiently serve their farm and non-farm customers, especially during their peak seasons."