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THIS IS SO MUCH BULL$*@#

Hanta Yo

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Tractors lumbering down country roads are as common as deer in rural Montana, but the federal government wants to place new driving regulations on farmers and ranchers.

"It's a huge deal for us," said John Youngberg of the Montana Farm Bureau. After years of allowing state governments to waive commercial driver's license requirements for farmers hauling crops or driving farm equipment on public roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is poised to do away with the exceptions.

Regulators are suggesting that all wheat shipments be considered interstate, even when farmers making short hauls to local grain elevators aren't crossing state lines. The change would make commercial driver's licenses — and all the log books and medical requirements that go with them — a necessity for farmers. Some might not qualify.

The licenses would also be required of farmers driving farm equipment down public roads. Farmers hauling grain for a neighbor or landlord would be considered commercial drivers hauling for someone else.

Ranchers hauling livestock in trailers as small as 16 feet would also be subject to the new rules.

But before finalizing the proposed changes, FMCSA is accepting public comment. It originally allowed 30 days for public input last May. Then 18 U.S. senators prodded by farm groups asked that the public be given more time. Comments are now being taken until Aug. 1.

In a cautionary letter, Rep. Dennny Rehberg, R-Mont., told FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro to drop the regulations.

"Under your proposal, tractors, combines and pickup trucks hauling trailers would be regulated as commercial vehicles," Rehberg wrote. "Producers who operate these vehicles would be required to obtain commercial driver's licenses, medical cards and log their hours as if they were long-haul truck drivers."

Traditionally, farmers driving farm machinery have been exempt from commercial driver's licenses, as have farmers hauling wheat, provided they didn't cross state lines and traveled no farther than 150 air miles to the elevator.

"When you haul a commodity 150 miles, it just doesn't make sense to have a commercial driver's license," Youngberg said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says it wants to make sure federal safety regulations are being carried out uniformly across the nation. According to FMCSA, some states have been asking the administration to clarify rules on grain trucking, farm equipment and trucking for someone else. The reasons behind those questions are numerous.

Dana Peterson, National Association of Wheat Growers executive officer, said farm equipment on public roads has become an issue in urban areas, while the other two trucking issues have been sticking points with FMCSA.

"That's been the interpretation of the agency for several years now," Peterson said of the interstate rule for grain. "But it hasn't been interpreted that way in all the states."

FMCSA argues that because grain will ultimately be shipped out of state, it should be regulated as an interstate product at every transportation step. Treated as a product destined to cross state lines, grain becomes federally regulated under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

If a farmer's trip to the local elevator is viewed as an intrastate transaction, then public safety becomes the main issue and the state has final say. Officials with the Montana Department of Transportation and Montana Department of Agriculture confirmed last week that they have not responded to federal requests for public comment about the proposed changes.

The argument that grain ultimately leaves the state seems to have Montana in mind. Roughly 80 percent of Montana wheat is shipped to other countries, said Lola Raska, of the Montana Grain Growers Association. However, once farmers unload their trucks at the local elevator and collect payment, their end of the business transaction is over.

In Montana, the conflicts between federal and state handling of farm freight have been minimal. That hasn't been the case in states where commodities cross state lines more often.

In Oregon, farmers along the Columbia River often raise crops on the Washington side of the river as well. Farmers there have similar business arrangements in Idaho, said Shawn Cleave, government affairs specialist with the Oregon Farm Bureau. Crossing the state line has required farmers there to get commercial licenses, or at least that's what the Oregon Farm Bureau has encouraged them to do.

The bigger issue in the federal proposal is whether commercial driver's licenses are required for farmers in crop-sharing agreements involving leased farmland where everyone has a stake in the crop's sale.

Oregon's farmers are getting older. Their average age is 60, just slightly older than Montana's average farmer. As those farmers get older, it becomes more likely that they'll partner with younger farmers to get crops on their land. Commercial driver's licenses are likely to be a must for the younger farmers in the partnership, Cleave said.

Contact Tom Lutey at

[email protected] or 657-1288

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_b4d19624-a1f2-57b8-9194-35fe00e17403.html#ixzz1T88hLXNy
 

nortexsook

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Well, so many idiots seem to be under the impression that the U.S. is just one law or regulation away from complete Nirvana.

I expect the trend to continue. Sad but true. You and I are out numbered at the polling booth.
 

sic 'em reds

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What about all these 80 year old men driving the biggest motor home money can buy? What will the requirement be for them? I think before the govenrment takes it out on the farmers and ranchers agian, all these people with RV's and camp trailers need to fall under the same scrutiny.
 

katrina

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sic 'em reds said:
What about all these 80 year old men driving the biggest motor home money can buy? What will the requirement be for them? I think before the govenrment takes it out on the farmers and ranchers agian, all these people with RV's and camp trailers need to fall under the same scrutiny.
Nothing.... as long as you have a potty you are ok..... And if you think you are going to get a CDL to do the right thing, look out.... Miles and miles of red tape and if they do stop ya then they can really throw the book at you from inspections, physicals, logbooks, you name it.. Right now I'm okay with my horsetrailer I have a potty, but if they ask me where i"m going I'm just trail riding..... Figure that one out... Can't be pulling down the road for any kind of money.......... :roll: :roll: :mad: :roll:
 

tenbach79

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I haul hay, corn and wheat not only for our farm but have for other people without a cdl and never been fined for it. I have had two different dot agents tell me different things every time I have been stopped, some say you need a log book even if you dont have a cdl, and a medical card some say you Need one and some say you don't. If you run a 18 wheeler and it's in road worthy shape you will not have any problems with them with or without a cdl.
 

katrina

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tenbach79 said:
I haul hay, corn and wheat not only for our farm but have for other people without a cdl and never been fined for it. I have had two different dot agents tell me different things every time I have been stopped, some say you need a log book even if you dont have a cdl, and a medical card some say you Need one and some say you don't. If you run a 18 wheeler and it's in road worthy shape you will not have any problems with them with or without a cdl.

I respectfully disagree with that last statement.. You have to have a dot inspection every year... As long as you are not 250 miles from home you are ok for not having a CDL.. Not unless you go over a state line... I found that one out!! And yes everytime you get stopped or weighed up the dots tell you something differant....
 

Larrry

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sic 'em reds said:
What about all these 80 year old men driving the biggest motor home money can buy? What will the requirement be for them? I think before the govenrment takes it out on the farmers and ranchers agian, all these people with RV's and camp trailers need to fall under the same scrutiny.

I am sorry I do not see a problem with the drivers of the motor homes any more than the drivers of cars. So I am not going to use that as an excuse not to have cdls for tractors. There is not a problem with tractors either so let's not let them portray that there is a problems.

And yes the dot just looks for excuses. They might not bother you today but they have the capabilities if they wake up tomorrow and are PO'd they can nail you to the wall for something.
 

tenbach79

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I know you need a dot inspection every and I get one every year. But if you pass a dot inspection then your road worthy. Now if you do get stopped they can find something and they usually do. I been over the mile limit and out state and never had a problem. If this comes true just one more thing you got to do.
 

C-E

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I am on both sides of the fence on this issue, as we have two trucks we run over the road. Do I think that honest farmers/ranchers should be subject to these proposed laws. No. However nothing eats at me worse then the "farmers" who can undercut me and illegally haul loads cheaper because they don't pay all the over head (permits, liscensing, ifta, insurance).

Right now the only commodity keeping my trucks moving is hay. Everyone is hauling hay in because of drought. And believe me every tom dick and harry with a truck is trying to undercut me with their "farm" trucks.
 

Larrry

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C-E said:
I am on both sides of the fence on this issue, as we have two trucks we run over the road. Do I think that honest farmers/ranchers should be subject to these proposed laws. No. However nothing eats at me worse then the "farmers" who can undercut me and illegally haul loads cheaper because they don't pay all the over head (permits, liscensing, ifta, insurance).

Right now the only commodity keeping my trucks moving is hay. Everyone is hauling hay in because of drought. And believe me every tom dick and harry with a truck is trying to undercut me with their "farm" trucks.

I don't think we should expect or want the government to legislate them out of business.
 

C-E

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Larrry said:
C-E said:
I am on both sides of the fence on this issue, as we have two trucks we run over the road. Do I think that honest farmers/ranchers should be subject to these proposed laws. No. However nothing eats at me worse then the "farmers" who can undercut me and illegally haul loads cheaper because they don't pay all the over head (permits, liscensing, ifta, insurance).

Right now the only commodity keeping my trucks moving is hay. Everyone is hauling hay in because of drought. And believe me every tom dick and harry with a truck is trying to undercut me with their "farm" trucks.

I don't think we should expect or want the government to legislate them out of business.

As I stated I do not think HONEST farmers/ranchers should be subject to this legislation. But more and more often farmers are using farm trucks to haul loads for hire. If you are taking money from someone to haul a commodity from point a to point b then you should be subject to the same standards as commercial truckers.
I would say this would be a classic case of everyone paying for the actions of a few.

And dont get me started about government regulations, especially about trucks. I really think it would be easier to send a shuttle into space then to legal put a for hire truck on the road.
 

Larrry

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C-E said:
Larrry said:
C-E said:
I am on both sides of the fence on this issue, as we have two trucks we run over the road. Do I think that honest farmers/ranchers should be subject to these proposed laws. No. However nothing eats at me worse then the "farmers" who can undercut me and illegally haul loads cheaper because they don't pay all the over head (permits, liscensing, ifta, insurance).

Right now the only commodity keeping my trucks moving is hay. Everyone is hauling hay in because of drought. And believe me every tom dick and harry with a truck is trying to undercut me with their "farm" trucks.

I don't think we should expect or want the government to legislate them out of business.

As I stated I do not think HONEST farmers/ranchers should be subject to this legislation. But more and more often farmers are using farm trucks to haul loads for hire. If you are taking money from someone to haul a commodity from point a to point b then you should be subject to the same standards as commercial truckers.
I would say this would be a classic case of everyone paying for the actions of a few.

And dont get me started about government regulations, especially about trucks. I really think it would be easier to send a shuttle into space then to legal put a for hire truck on the road.

Agreed
 
A

Anonymous

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This is what needs to happen in every state to keep the rules from changing....

Plan would require farmer to have CDL
Montana officials to fight driving restrictions


By TOM LUTEY Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette | Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 6:30 pm
..Montana's governor and congressional delegation say they'll fight federal efforts to make farmers meet commercial truck driver standards in order to drive farm equipment or haul commodities on public roads.

"I've seen some harebrained ideas come from Washington bureaucrats before, but this one nearly takes the cake," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Friday.

Baucus indicated that he would discourage U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood from moving forward with the proposal put forward by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a branch of the federal Transportation Department.

Earlier, Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., wrote FMCSA Director Anne Ferro, telling her that it's senseless to require farmers to carry a commercial driver's license, submit health records and log miles — things currently required of professional truck drivers.

Currently, the federal government allows states to exempt farmers from commercial driving requirements when it comes to driving farm equipment on public roads or hauling grain to elevators, provided the distance isn't longer than 150 miles measured by air one way. The air-mile rule is to keep farmers from being penalized by every twist and turn in the road.

But states have been asking FMCSA to clarify what exceptions can be made for farmers. Those questions have opened the door for an FMCSA "regulatory guidance," a sort of recipe that states can follow when issuing exemptions. The proposed guidance recommends that commercial driver's licenses be mandatory for driving or hauling a long list of farm equipment, including horse trailers as short as 16 feet.

FMCSA also suggests doing away with the 150-mile exemption for hauling commodities. FMCSA asserts that because those commodities are likely to cross state lines at some point, trips to the grain elevator count as part of the journey and are therefore interstate commerce.

The interstate-commerce issue is key to FMCSA's regulatory authority, as all interstate trade is regulated by the federal government under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

States get their power to regulate transportation from the need to enforce safety. The new proposal puts the safety argument in the back seat.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., a farmer, submitted comments Thursday to the FMCSA. Tester wrote that any proposal requiring farmers to have a commercial driver's license must not "adversely impact" agriculture in the state and across the U.S.

"Nor should they require farmers and ranchers to jump through additional hoops or fill out needless paperwork in order to take care of simple, day-to-day chores," Tester said in his written comments. "Agriculture is Montana's largest industry, and is critically important to our economy and to jobs and livelihoods across rural America."

In his comments, Tester points out that not all grain shipped to an elevator is shipped out of state.

"A farmer delivering grain may intend for the grain to be shipped out of state, or may intend for it to serve local or statewide markets," Tester wrote. "The agency should not task state and local officials with determining the intent of farmers or the ultimate destination of agricultural products being shipped. This requirement would be unworkable."

Gov. Brian Schweitzer will submit the state's arguments against the federal proposal Monday, said Sarah Elliott, the governor's communications director.

Earlier, officials with the state department of Transportation and Agriculture said they had no plans to weigh in on the issue. Public records indicate that although it is the states that stand to lose the ability to exempt farmers from commercial license requirements, only two, Iowa and Missouri have done so thus far.

The deadline for state governments and the public to comment on the proposal is Monday.

"As usual, Washington, D.C., thinks one-boot-fits-all in America. This boot doesn't fit in Montana," Elliott said. "The governor will be submitting a formal comment on Monday."



Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_bd33348f-dbe4-5944-81bc-e6cd5fed3bed.html#ixzz1TbL6CJJf
 

Workinonit

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The purpose of making these new "regulations" is to put more $$$ into the Gov't coffers in the form of taxes and fees etc. Interstate commerce regs call for lots of taxes and fees and surcharges etc.

IMHO, the 'powers that be' are attempting to tap into a currently untapped resource for $$.

K
 

Lonecowboy

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The federal government just can’t stay out of agriculture. From subsidy programs that decide winners and losers in the markets by favoring corporate farms over family farms to ethanol rules that sacrifice food for fuel to laws that give undue influence and power to a select few pesticide and seed producers, Washington has maintained a stranglehold over farming that has forever altered the industry’s competitive landscape and doomed consumers to pay ever-higher prices at the grocery store.

It wants even more power. Now, another assault comes from the Capitol and the unlikeliest of agencies: the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an arm of the Department of Transportation. The DOT/FMCSA has new standards currently in the public comment period that, were they to become law, would override states’ rights — and the rights of the individual farmer — and have a detrimental impact on how business is done.

First and foremost, the DOT wants to reclassify farm vehicles and implements — everything from tractors to cattle haulers — as Commercial Motorized Vehicles (CMVs), which would then mandate all farm workers to meet the same set of requirements that over-the-road truck drivers do. Farmers would have to acquire a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), display DOT numbers, track mileage, limit hours worked, and maintain health cards while farms would have to monitor all of the above and pay highway use taxes (and probably higher insurance rates).

The regulatory burden is daunting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 800,000 farm workers in the United States; 24,000 of them are considered Agricultural Equipment Operators, whose primary responsibilities are to drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. But if you’ve ever been around a farm, you know that number is under-reported, for it ignores those who dabble in the use of equipment as required by their job and the task at hand. Many agricultural employees, at one time or another, operate tractors and other heavy equipment. Even in a labor-intensive environment (such as fruit-picking or dairy), motorized equipment is utilized every minute of every day to get people, product, and resources from Point A to Point B or tend the health of the plants or animals. It wouldn’t be stretch to say one-fifth of all farm workers at one time or another drive farm machinery. That’s 160,000 people — and their countless employers — nationwide who would suddenly fall under the bureaucratic umbrella of the federal government and the state governments charged with enforcing the new regulations.

As a necessary cost of doing business, farms would probably pay for their workers to earn their CDLs because there is a shortage (in both the short-term and long-term) of licensed drivers across the country, as government-run schools and popular culture have driven youth away from skilled and vocational trades. The national average for such a course is $3,000. So applied to the 160,000 estimated affected workers, that’s a bill of $480 million. This would probably not be one-time cost, either. A farm owner has no guarantee that his employee will work for him long-term after making that sizable investment in him. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics admits the following about farm employment on its website, “Job openings should be plentiful because of relatively large numbers of workers who leave these jobs for other occupations. This is especially true for jobs as agricultural equipment operators, and crop, greenhouse, and nursery farmworkers.”

The CDL cost would be wealth-transfer, taking money from agriculture (actually, the consumers who would be paying for the higher overhead) and giving it to others. Other similar expenses would be incurred as well. Insurance, health exams, recordkeeping, licenses, and taxes are not free.

Legally and constitutionally, this regulatory activity should be off-limits to the DOT and left in the hands of the states since all farming activities occur within a state’s borders and nothing of it comprises interstate trade — most goods are sold in roadside stands and local markets or to large processors (national direct-to-consumer sales are incredibly rare).

So, just how does the DOT plan to stake its claims over tractors and haulers and get around the unconstitutionality of these new standards? By reclassifying the farming trade.

Basically, the DOT plans to identify all agricultural commodities delivered to a processor as “interstate commerce” because there exists the chance that the crop might eventually leave the state. That’s an incredibly dangerous undertaking, for it will affect far more than drivers’ licenses: This one, simple change would allow all federal agencies to override local, state, and personal oversight of farms. The federal government would have full jurisdiction and the ability to micromanage farms’ day-to-day activities and practices. Certain to be instituted would be long-simmering federal bills that would mandate the use of farmland based on a supposed importance of the environment or require the tracking of all farming inputs and activities to supposedly prevent outbreaks of E. coli and the like.

The public comment period for these pending transportation rules changes is set to expire at the end of this month. It is hoped that the farming industry and constitutionalists everywhere come out in numbers, voicing their displeasure over such measures. If they don’t, and the DOT is allowed to run roughshod over state’s rights, the very definition of federal power will change when it comes to how, why, and by whom our food is produced.

Once the federal government has total control over agriculture, the cost to farm will likely be utterly astronomical and, likewise, so will be the cost to feed and clothe a family. What can and will happen will make the CDL requirement look like a walk in the park. If that one measure can affect the markets to the tune of just under a half billion dollars, imagine what else Uncle Sam could do with an array of regulations similarly — if not far more — damaging.
http://www.thenewamerican.com/opinion/950-bob-confer/8255-department-of-transportation-sets-sights-on-farmers-and-states-rights
 

loomixguy

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Suffice it to say that I personally have no use for DOT personnell, no matter the state they are in. The ones I have had the pleasure of encountering, from California to North Carolina, were all cut from the same cloth...nitwits with badges, who, when asked the same question twice, will NEVER give the same answer twice. They twist and prostitute the laws with their own interpretations (just like state fire marshals), and more than a few couldn't find their ass with both hands. Simply put, they are out there interrupting the lives of honest working folks who are trying to make a living while obeying vague and convoluted laws concerning everything from hours of service to who does and doesn't need a CDL.
 

gcreekrch

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loomixguy said:
Suffice it to say that I personally have no use for DOT personnell, no matter the state they are in. The ones I have had the pleasure of encountering, from California to North Carolina, were all cut from the same cloth...nitwits with badges, who, when asked the same question twice, will NEVER give the same answer twice. They twist and prostitute the laws with their own interpretations (just like state fire marshals), and more than a few couldn't find their ass with both hands. Simply put, they are out there interrupting the lives of honest working folks who are trying to make a living while obeying vague and convoluted laws concerning everything from hours of service to who does and doesn't need a CDL.

That post kind of gives your answer to the age old question Loomix.


Would you rather have a brother that works as a DOT inspector or a sister that works in a whorehouse? :lol:
 
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