Article is courtesy of Ohio AgriBusiness Association
Earlier this week, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted an extension of the hours of service exemption for agricultural operations until January 1, 2012 to account for this year’s longer harvest.
The extension resulted from a request the Ohio Agribusiness Association (OABA) submitted on November 18, 2011 and a similar request submitted by the Ohio Farm Bureau on November 23. In its request, OABA stated that extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, including a much wetter than normal spring that delayed planting and a wet fall, have compounded an already delayed 2011 crop harvest and could extend Ohio’s crop harvest into at least the first few weeks of December.
This posed a problem for Ohio farmers and agribusinesses, because under current hours of service rules, agricultural operation are only exempted from hours of service requirements during planting and harvesting seasons, which the state of Ohio defines as March 1 through November 30 of each year. Without the exemption, drivers would have been limited to working only 60 hours per week and only 12 hours per day.
OABA informed the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that farmers, cooperatives and other agribusinesses needed an extension of the hours of service beyond November 30, 2011, to get their crop harvested and to market as quickly as possible.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted a 30-day extension of the exemption to give farmers and the agribusiness industry time to complete harvest, and should adverse conditions still exist around January 1, 2012, the commission invited OABA to submit a request for further extension at that time.
To view the Commission’s final order, click here. OABA encourages drivers to print a copy of the order and carry it with them in case clarification is needed.
©2011 OABA – Ohio AgriBusiness Association
5151 Reed Rd. Suite 126-C
Columbus, Ohio 43220
Tel: (614) 326-7520 | Fax: (614) 326-7519