The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is talking about a reinterpretation of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935, the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 and the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. The administration is exploring the possibility of categorizing “implements of husbandry and other farm equipment” as commercial motor vehicles. This move would require a commercial driver’s license to operate this equipment. National Farmers Union says this is a bad idea.
NFU President Roger Johnson points out that most farmers have little – if any – control or knowledge of the final destination of the commodities they produce. As such – it is inappropriate to consider a farmer’s commodity delivery to a grain handling facility – for one example – within the state as interstate commerce. Johnson says deeming this sort of commodity delivery as interstate commerce and subjecting the farmer to additional levels of regulation is an overly burdensome interpretation of statute.
NFU would like to see individual states be given more leeway in determining the rules for what types of vehicles and transportation do and do not require CDLs. Presently – many states have certain exemptions for agricultural transportation. NFU asks that farmers be able to continue to safely operate their farms without additional layers of regulatory oversight.