U.S. House bill would exempt farm trucks from CMV rules

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A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would exempt farm trucks traveling in-state from having to register as commercial vehicles and allow them a higher weight limit. HR 3098 – which would change the federal definition of a commercial motor vehicle from 10,001 to 26,001 pounds – was referred to the House transportation and infrastructure committee last month.

Farm trucks operating within a state’s borders now are classified as commercial vehicles, and their operators must comply with federal regulations such as U.S. Department of Transportation registration, commercial driver’s licenses and hours-of-service logs.

“There’s a difference between short-haul farm trucks and larger commercial trucks operating regionally or cross-country,” said U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., one of the co-sponsors. “There’s clearly a problem when local farmers trying to transport their goods to market are being subjected to rules intended for large commercial trucks.”

The bill is a revised version of H.R. 1757, introduced March 29 by U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla, who also is sponsoring H.R. 3098. “Oklahoma borders six other states, and our farmers often need to cross those state lines,” Boren said in March. “I am hearing from farmers across my district who are already facing fines from these regulations that were never meant to apply to them in the first place.”