In response to an initial request by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Congressman Dan Boren and Congresswoman Mary Fallin, along with Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt, have introduced legislation, H.R. 3098, which would change the definition of a commercial motor vehicle from 10,001 lbs. to 26,001 lbs. under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
“Farmers, ranchers and others who engage in interstate commerce throughout this nation need the ability to conduct their business in a fair and efficient manner,” said Ericka McPherson, OFB director of national affairs. “This change will provide much needed uniformity between state and federal law.”
H.R. 3098 also would prevent the U.S. Department of Transportation from requiring State Departments of Transportation to enforce certain requirements on agricultural producers hauling their own commodities in intrastate commerce.
“Producers would not have to possess a commercial driver’s license or a federal medical card, keep a maintenance and inspection file, complete a motor carrier identification report, and other requirements as long as they are hauling their own commodities in intrastate commerce,” McPherson said. “These requirements are unnecessary and should not be required of farm vehicle drivers given the limited scope of agricultural transportation.”
Farm vehicle drivers would still be obligated to be physically qualified and to maintain and operate a safe vehicle, she added.
Agricultural producers strive to ensure their motor vehicles are in a safe and proper operating condition, and that they are used in a safe and responsible manner.
The safe and efficient transportation of agricultural commodities and goods to market is essential for producers and ultimately American consumers.
Other agriculture groups in support of H.R. 3098 are the American Farm Bureau Federation, Alabama Farmers Federation, Missouri Farm Bureau and Cattlemen Associations from several states.