Transportation Bill Good for Agriculture
The recently approved, 27-month highway bill not only keeps transportation projects rolling until September 2014, it contains key provisions exempting farmers, ranchers and covered farm vehicles from several federal regulations, Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation transportation specialist, told Newsline.
“Those farmers and ranchers who are using a farm vehicle to haul their calves or their produce to market were exempt from some requirements that were meant for long-haul truckers and commercial truck drivers. Commercial driver’s license, medical certificates, hours of service requirements, pre- and post-trip inspections, those were all included and a farmer is exempt if he’s driving a vehicle that’s under 26,000 pounds. If he happens to be over 26,000 pounds, he’s exempt up to 150 air miles from his farm, if he were to cross a state line. He’d be exempt within the state,” Walmsley explained.