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HOS Rules for Salesperson Has to Wait

A possible oversight from the FMCSA means driver-salespersons won’t be able to enjoy an expanded operating area for a while.

J.J. Keller Senior Editor Daren Hansen

Daren Hansen - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

March 24 , 2021

A possible oversight from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) means driver-salespersons won’t be able to enjoy an expanded operating area for a while.

When the agency revised its hours-of-service rules in 2020, it expanded the 100-air-mile exception to allow drivers to go up to 150 air miles from home and still use time records in place of logs.

However, the FMCSA failed to grant the same allowance to driver-salespersons — at least for now.

The Driver-Salesperson Definition

By definition, a driver-salesperson is someone who:

  • Both sells and delivers goods or services,
  • Spends no more than half of his or her work time driving, and
  • Remains “entirely within a radius of 100 miles of the point at which he/she reports for duty.”

Previously, driver-salespersons were able to take full advantage of the 100-air-mile exception. But under the new hours-of-service rules, they’re still limited to 100 air miles even though other short-haul drivers are allowed 150 air miles.

Driver-Salesperson Benefits

Being defined as a driver-salesperson is beneficial because such drivers:

  • Are exempt from the 60/70-hour on-duty limit if they drive no more than 40 hours in any 7 days, and
  • Are not required to return to their daily reporting location when using the 150-air-mile exception in §395.1(e)(1).

Driver-salespersons may still use the 150-air-mile exception, they just can’t drive beyond a 100-air-mile radius when doing so.

Potential FMCSA Changes?

The National Private Truck Council (NPTC) — whose members have many driver-salespersons — petitioned the FMCSA earlier this year to amend the new hours-of-service rules so driver-salespersons could drive up to 150 air miles. The FMCSA denied the petition, but only because the suggested change was outside the scope of the current rulemaking process.

Instead, the agency will treat the NPTC’s request as a formal “petition for rulemaking” under §389.31, which allows anyone to petition for rule changes.

If the agency finds merit in the petition, we may soon see a proposal to change the hours-of-service rules once again, to the benefit of driver-salespersons everywhere.

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