• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

DOT plans to show up at the ranch/farm

Help Support Ranchers.net:


Well-known member
Apr 12, 2008
Reaction score
real world
A new rule being proposed by the federal Department of Transportation would require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is a part of DOT, wants to adopt standards that would reclassify all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles, officials said. Likewise, the proposal, if adopted, would require all farmers and everyone on the farm who operates any of the equipment to obtain a CDL, they added.

The proposed rule change would mean that anyone who drives a tractor or operates any piece of motorized farming equipment would be required to pass the same tests and complete the same detailed forms and logs required of semi-tractor trailer drivers.

Drivers would keep logs of information including hours worked and miles traveled. Vehicles would be required to display DOT numbers. A CDL in Virginia costs $64 for eight years, or $8 per year, not including the cost of an instructional class and the written test.

If the DOT reclassifies farm vehicles and implements as commercial vehicles, the federal government will have regulatory control over the nation's farm workers, estimated at over 800,000, by requiring them to have commercial drivers licenses.

That possibility worries county farmers and others in Halifax County interested in agriculture.

"I have a CDL, but very few farmers have one," said Nathalie farmer Ronnie Waller. "This is just another bureaucratic hurdle for the farmer.

"It's hard enough fighting Mother Nature, insects and all…now we have to fight the federal government," he added. "We're getting more rammed down our throats, and I could see repercussions across the nation. This move is another inane gesture in my opinion," Waller concluded.

Bruce Pearce, Halifax County Soil and Water Conservation district manager, agrees with Waller.

"It's absurd, we're being regulated out of business," Pearce said. "I can see where you need to take precautions if you take these things on the interstate."

Pearce said driving a tractor on a road is not like driving a semi-tractor trailer on the highway.

"If it passes, there will be a lot of citations written," he said. "It'll create a financial burden on the farmer.

"Many farm workers are migrant workers, and they don't have drivers licenses," he said.

"If this thing passes, it would be detrimental to the agriculture business," said Jason Fisher, Halifax County Extension agent for Forestry and Natural Resources. "They're going to get a bigger fight from other places.

"It would be stifling to agriculture," he said. "For the producers here, we're looking to do things to help them maintain their farms. CDLs would mean additional costs to the farmers."

Scott Crowder, Halifax County Farm Bureau president, agrees with Fisher.

"I think it's absurd," he said. "It's just more federal bureaucracy and another infringement on small business."

Crowder said farm tractors and other machinery on county roads is a common sight in most rural areas.

"When you live in a rural community seeing farm equipment on the road is just something that's a part of life," he said. "If this thing passes, it will create more strain on small business, and that's what farmers are. It will affect their bottom line. Call your congressman and senators," he concluded.

You're a couple days late Hypocrit- they already made their decision--NO changes.....

No New CDL Requirements for Agriculture
general admin posted on August 11, 2011 08:44 :: 151 Views

The following is a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportaion:

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced Wednesday that it has no intention to propose new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products. The agency also released guidance designed to make sure states clearly understand the common sense exemptions that allow farmers, their employees, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market.

After hearing from concerned farmers earlier this year, FMCSA initiated this review to make sure states don't go overboard in enforcing regulations on agricultural operators, and to ensure consistent access to exemptions for farmers. No regulations will be proposed for any new safety requirements or changes to the rules governing the transport of agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm.

"We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy," said Secretary Ray LaHood. "Farmers deserve to know that reasonable, common sense exemptions will continue to be consistently available to agricultural operations across the country, and that's why we released this guidance."

This guidance – which does not impose any new rules on farmers – follows the Federal Register public notice which FMCSA issued on May 31, 2011, asking farmers, farm organizations and the public to give input on the agency's longstanding safety rules.

"We want to make it absolutely clear that farmers will not be subjected to new and impractical safety regulations," said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari. "The farm community can be confident that states will continue to follow the regulatory exemptions for farmers that have always worked so well."

"FMCSA is pleased with the input we've received from the agricultural community and members of Congress. We received about 1700 comments and the vast majority called for us to preserve the guidance that leaves states to carry out the farm exceptions as they have for many years." said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. "We want to make crystal clear that we are not imposing any new regulations."

Earlier this year, farm groups came to FMCSA with concerns that some states might not allow exemptions to Commercial Drivers License (CDL) requirements for certain farm operations using "crop-share" leasing.

When FMCSA investigated, there appeared to be wide differences among states in how the "for-hire" and related agricultural exceptions were being applied. In order to ensure consistency, FMCSA asked state officials to cease all new entrant safety audits on farmers engaged in "crop-share" leasing and issued the public notice soliciting input that would provide insight on the complex use of farm equipment on public roads. The guidance released today, which is based on that input, clarifies three critical issues:

Interstate vs. intrastate commerce. Since the difference between the two has been determined by the U.S. Supreme Court and other Federal courts, FMCSA has limited flexibility to provide additional guidelines. The Agency has concluded that new regulatory guidance concerning the distinction between interstate and intrastate commerce is not necessary. Generally, the states and the industry have a common understanding on this point. To the extent that fact-specific questions arise, the Agency will work with the States and the industry to provide a clarification for the specific scenario.

Commercial Driver's License. Federal regulations allow states to make exceptions to Commercial Driver's License (CDL) regulations for certain farm vehicle drivers such as farm employees and family members, as long as their vehicles are not used by "for-hire" motor carriers. Some states have questioned whether this exemption applies to drivers who work for "crop share" or similar arrangements. FMCSA's notice includes guidance to ensure consistent application of the exemption. After considering the public comments, the Agency has determined that farmers who rent their land for a share of the crops and haul their own and the landlord's crops to market should have access to the agricultural CDL exemptions given by the states.

Implements of Husbandry. In a perfect world, farm vehicles would only operate on farms, while commercial trucks would operate on public roads. The reality is that farm equipment that is not designed or intended for everyday use on public roads is often used for short trips at limited speeds. This creates a gray area for classification. After considering the public comments, FMCSA has determined that most States have already adopted common sense enforcement practices that allow farmers to safely move equipment to and from their fields. In areas where farm implements are common, the enforcement community and the agricultural community have achieved a mutual understanding of which safety regulations should apply to farm equipment on their public roads.

FMCSA is committed to the safety of our highways and the long-term success of America's agricultural industry. To learn more about federal safety regulations that impact the transportation of agricultural products and equipment, please visit the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
Posted by Haylie Shipp
Thanks OT, but if that Press Release, is from August 11, 2011, then it looks like you are also late. :wink:

By Jackie Yamanaka | August 10, 2011 – 12:37 pm

(Billings, MT – YPR) – The US Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said today it has no intention of requiring farmers and ranchers to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) to drive farm equipment or haul livestock trailers on roads.
hypocritexposer said:
Thanks OT, but if that Press Release, is from August 11, 2011, then it looks like you are also late. :wink:

By Jackie Yamanaka | August 10, 2011 – 12:37 pm

(Billings, MT – YPR) – The US Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said today it has no intention of requiring farmers and ranchers to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) to drive farm equipment or haul livestock trailers on roads.

:roll: :roll:

Well Hypocrit---if you read all the news/posts and not just the stuff you find negative to the US government (a foreign government to you) - you would have known I posted it on the 10th in another thread also:


Latest posts