In the light of the updated Agricultural Exemption provided by the FMCSA, we have received some questions about whether it is supported by the BigRoad app. The great news is – it already is!
Unlike other exemptions, the support of this exemption is done through driver’s actions within the app. Please read further on the instructions of how to do this in your BigRoad application.
What FMCSA expects
There are 3 ways in which FMCSA allows you to record your hours of service when transporting an agricultural commodity, outlined on p.26 of the official document.
Option 1 A driver can operate within the 150-air-mile radius without logging into the ELD, and then log into the ELD once the vehicle reaches the 150-air-mile radius limit. Driving time within the 150-air-mile radius will be identified on the ELD as “unidentified driving” time. The driver will reject the unidentified driving time on the ELD and the motor carrier must annotate the ELD data to explain that the “unidentified driving” time occurred while operating under an agricultural HOS exemption.
Option 2 The driver can log into the ELD when coming on duty and identify the time operating within the 150-air-mile radius with an ELD annotation stating that the vehicle was operating under an agricultural HOS exemption.
Option 3 If authorized by the motor carrier, the driver can log into the ELD when coming on duty and identify the time operating within the 150-air-mile radius as authorized personal use (personal conveyance). A driver operating a CMV under the authorized personal conveyance provision must select on the ELD the personal conveyance diving category before the start of the status and deselect when the indicated status ends.
How to do this in the BigRoad app
The BigRoad app allows a driver to record this in two of the three ways outlined by the FMCSA (option 1 and option 3):
This option is a great way to give the back office some visibility into what is happening in the field. This way, when Supervisors annotate the drive time as Agricultural Exempt, it will give a clear indication to an auditor what has happened and why.
- The drive time within the 150-air-mile radius should be “unidentified driving”, and the back office should make a note that the drive time is Agricultural Exempt time.
• When driving within the 150-air-mile radius, the driver will do so while logged out of the BigRoad app.
• Once they leave the 150-air-mile radius, the driver will be required to log back into the BigRoad app.
• When the driver logs back into the BigRoad app, they will then need to reject the unassigned driving segments on the BigRoad mobile app that occurred in the 150-air-mile radius.
• At the back office, the Safety Manager will see this drive time as “unidentified driving” and will be required to annotate the unidentified driving segment as Agricultural Exempt time.
This option is much easier for a driver to work with and has fewer steps to follow. However, if not properly annotated, it might create confusion during an inspection, if there is another actual Personal Conveyance being used. Please ensure that there is a note in the Personal Conveyance, indicating that this is Agricultural Exempt drive time.
- Record the drive time in the 150-air-mile radius as Personal Conveyance.
• Before starting to drive within the 150-air-mile radius, a driver will need to select the duty status of Personal Conveyance. This duty status will need to be used for the entire drive time that is done within that 150-air-mile radius.
• The driver will then need to ensure that an annotation is placed on appropriate driving segments, which indicates that it is Agriculturally Exempt.