The U.S. Department of Transportation has listened to the concerns of farmers and said it will not issue new regulations related to agricultural transportation and commercial drivers license (CDL) provisions, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) was among those that submitted comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) after it issued a new guidance document that farmers feared would require them to obtain a CDL.
Among OFBF’s concerns was that grain sold to an in-state grain elevator would constitute interstate commerce because there is the chance it would eventually be shipped outside the state. Additionally, farmers involved in crop share leases feared they would have to obtain a CDL if regulators ruled that they were transporting a crop that was partially owned by their landlord and were therefore a contract carrier. Finally, OFBF challenged language that could have led to farm machinery being classified as a commercial motor vehicle.
As a result of public comments, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the MCSA has no intention of proposing new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products and that the agency has released guidance to states so they clearly understand common-sense exemptions “to allow farmers, their employees and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market.”