Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Speed Bump Too Many

Fasten your seat belts farmers and ranchers, it could be a bumpy ride. As if farmers and ranchers need yet another speed bump in their way when it comes to trying to make their livelihood, up pops the possibility of the US Department of Transportation, or more accurately the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposing rules that would encompass many farm implements and normal farming or ranching practices as being engaged in interstate commerce. This could be anything from hauling grain to the elevator, or moving equipment from the shed to the field. This type of ruling would require ag trucks and machinery to have federal registration and farmers and ranchers to have commercial driving licenses. This issue actually first surfaced back in February and has resulted in growing concern and much consternation for farmers and ranchers. While no ruling has been made, the FMCSA is preparing to draft a “regulatory guidance”; an action which invariably spells trouble for all those concerned. This issue of CDL’s generates many questions, not the least of which being how much more can farmers and ranchers take? Lacy Gray

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