Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (FMCSA) PROPOSES RULE REGULATING OPERATORS OF CERTAIN FARM VEHICLES Comments Open Through August 1, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a request for public comments on the applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to farmers and ranchers.  The agency is seeking comment by August 1, 2011 on the following issues:

(1) How should FMCSA distinguish between intra- and interstate commerce when a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is operated within the boundaries of a single state?

(2) Should FMCSA treat farmers with crop-share lease agreements as “for-hire” commercial carriers in new entrant safety audits?

(3) Should implements of husbandry and other farm equipment be considered CMVs?

Background

On May 31, 2011 (76 FR 31279), FMCSA published a notice requesting public comment on: (1) previously published regulatory guidance on the distinction between interstate and intrastate commerce in deciding whether operations of commercial motor vehicles within the boundaries of a single State are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; (2) proposed guidance on the relevance of the distinction between direct and indirect compensation in deciding whether farm vehicle drivers transporting agricultural commodities, farm supplies and equipment as part of a crop share agreement are subject to the commercial driver's license regulations; and, (3) proposed guidance to determine whether off-road farm equipment or implements of husbandry operated on public roads for limited distances are considered commercial motor vehicles. The Agency indicated the guidance would be used to help ensure uniform application of the safety regulations by enforcement personnel, motor carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Possible Consequence If Rule Is Approved

If the proposed rule is adopted defining the transportation of agricultural products as interstate commerce, many farmers and ranchers could lose certain exemptions they currently enjoy for intrastate commerce.  Defining farm vehicle drivers and/or tractors or other farm implements as CMVs would also result in farmers and ranchers losing those exemptions.  Adoption of the rule could also drastically alter state agricultural trucking and transportation laws.

 

 

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Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
4600 Valley Road, Suite 416
Lincoln, NE 68510-4844
Phone: 402-476-6174
Fax: 402-476-3401