Diving into Exemptions
The best way to explain DOT regulations is that they’re like an iceberg!
I wasn’t thinking about being huge and massive or cold hearted and boring. But both of those seem to fit when you start looking at them. I was talking about how most of the regulations you don’t see until you cite one. Identically, most of the iceberg is under the water, and you don’t see it until you look for it. Also, an iceberg has lots of nooks and crannies; even though it looks smooth from a distance, there are still lots of imperfections. Just like the regulations.
My personal opinion is that the federal government wrote the regulations with those imperfections on purpose. The hardest part is understanding how they can help your company. There is a pretty good chance that there are some exemptions that your company qualifies to utilize. Today we are going to break down a few of the most common loopholes.
Let’s start with the agriculture exemption, which can be found in Section 395.2 of the CFR. Really, what it means is that all agriculture is exempt from all regulations as long as the driver stays within a 150-mile radius of the source of the product. It also states that if you are supplying supplies to a farm from a wholesale or retail vendor within a 150-mile radius from the distribution point, you are exempt from HOS. There are no limitations imposed on specific carriers by this exemption. So it could be applied to someone who is delivering pipe for irrigation, a feed mill, farmers, etc.
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