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395.1 Guidance

395.1 Scope of the rules in this part

Question 34: Does the agricultural commodity exception (395.1(k)(1)) apply to drivers while driving unloaded within 150 air-miles of the place where an agricultural commodity will be loaded, and to that portion of an unloaded return trip which occurs within a 150 air-mile radius of the place where the agricultural commodity was loaded?

Guidance:  Yes, provided that the trip does not involve transporting any non-agricultural cargo and the sole purpose of the trip is to make a pick-up or delivery of agricultural commodities, as defined in  395.2.  In that case, driving and on-duty time are not limited, nor do other requirements of 49 CFR part 395 apply.

Question 35:  Does the agricultural commodity exception (§ 395.1(k)(1)) apply if the destination for the commodity is beyond the 150 air-mile radius from the source?

Guidance: Yes, the exception applies to transportation during the initial 150 air-miles from the source of the commodity, regardless of the distance to the final destination.  Once a driver operates beyond the 150 air-mile radius of the source, 49 CFR part 395 applies.  The driveris then subject to the limits under the hours-of-service rules apply and must record those hours.  Once the hours-of-service rules begin to apply on a given trip, they continue to apply for the duration of that trip, until the driver crosses back into the area within 150 air-miles of the original source of the commodities.
Question 36: How is the “source” of the agricultural commodities in § 395.1(k)(1) determined?

Guidance: The “source” of an agricultural commodity, as the term is used in § 395.1(k)(1), is the point at which an agricultural commodity is loaded onto an unladen commercial motor vehicle.  The location may be any intermediate storage or handling location away from the original source at the farm or field, provided the commodity retains its original form and is not significantly changed by any processing or packing.  If a driver is making multiple trips, the first trip, and the 150 air-mile exception around that source,  terminate once all agricultural products are offloaded at a delivery point. A new source for a new trip may then be identified, and the 150 air-mile radius for the exception will be around that source.

For example, a sales barn where cattle are loaded may be treated as a “source,” in addition to the location at which they were raised, since cattle remain livestock. As another example, a place where heads of lettuce are stored  may become a “source,” provided they retain their original form.  An elevator where grain is collected and dried may be a new “source,” again assuming that the grain is not milled or similarly processed at the elevator.

Question 37:  How is the “source of the agricultural commodities” determined if the driver makes multiple pick-ups of the commodity en route to the final destination?

Guidance: When a driver loads some of an agricultural commodity at a “source” and then loads more of that commodity at additional stops, the first place where the commodity was loaded is the measuring point for the 150 air-mile radius. 

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