DOT To Mandate All Farm Vehicles Require CDL Licenses, Could Bring Demise To Farmers

July 31st, 2011 (65) Posted By Toro520.

The Blaze:

In Late May, the DOT proposed a rule change for farm equipment, and if it this allowed to take effect, it will place significant regulatory pressure on small farms and family farms all across America – costing them thousands of dollars and possibly forcing many of them out of business. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), wants new standards that would require all farmers and everyone on the farm to obtain a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) in order to operate any farming equipment. The agency is going to accomplish this by reclassifying all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs).

(It is also important to note here that DOT Secretary Ray LaHood holds a seat on the newly created White House Rural Council. A powerful group whose members have ties to George Soros and The Center For American Progress.)

The move by the DOT appears to be “legislation through regulation.” By reclassifying all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Vehicles, the federal government will now be able to claim regulatory control over the estimated 800,000 farm workers in America, at the same time, overriding the rights of the states.

The proposed change also means ANYONE driving a tractor or operating any piece of motorized farming equipment would be forced to pass the same rigorous tests and fill out the same detailed forms and diaries required of semi-tractor trailer drivers. This reclassification would bury small farms and family farms in regulation and paperwork.

Some of the additional paperwork and regulation required:

•Detailed logs would need to be kept by all drivers – hours worked, miles traveled, etc.
•Vehicles would have to display DOT numbers
•Drivers would need to pass a physical as well as a drug test – every two years.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) is one of many farm organizations not happy about the idea and has sent the DOT a letter expressing this opinion:

“WFBF opposes any change in statue or regulatory authority that would reclassify implements of husbandry or other farm equipment as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs)”

WFBF Director of Governmental Relations Karen Gefvert continues, explaining the excessive cost to farmers if this allowed to move forward:

“The proposed guidance by the FMCSA would result in an initial increased cost to each Wisconsin farmer and employee of $124 just for the CDL license, permit and test; not to mention the time and cost for the behind-the-wheel training that is several thousand dollars.”

Additionally, Illinois farmers believe this regulation will also force new restrictions on trucks used in crop-share hauling. (One estimate claims more than 30% of Illinois farmers utilize shared land.) These crop-share trucks are typically limited-use vehicles that often travel fewer than 3000 miles each year, mainly hauling crops from the fields to nearby grain elevators. To require them to follow the same rules as semis would also mean a farmer would be forced to purchase substantial insurance.

The Hancock Journal-Pilot covered the story:

Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began to define crop-share tenant farmers as “for-hire“ carriers and implements of husbandry as ”commercial motor vehicles.“ The ”for-hire” designation for crop-share tenant farmers would have a dramatic effect on farmers because it voids exemptions from the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program and would require a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage for the farmer.

The DOT is holding hearings for public comment on the topic, but only through Monday, August 1st and farmers all across the country are rightfully concerned. No matter what the feedback is from the people who actually grow the food, it appears that the DOT’s mind is made up. Just last week, DOT Administrator Anna Ferro posted an Op-Ed addressing the controversial regulation. The opinion piece closes with this statement:

Everyone in this Administration – from President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary LaHood on down – is committed to the long-term success of America’s agricultural industry. In many ways, agriculture is the backbone of our economy – feeding hundreds of millions of Americans and billions more around the world. As the largest user of freight transportation in the nation, the agricultural industry is also one of USDOT’s most important constituents. We hope that this comment period is the start of a new and productive relationship. We may not ultimately agree on every issue, but we will always listen — and do our best to help America’s farmers succeed.

The FMCSA has said their intent is to create uniformity in way federal safety regulations are carried out across America. The farming community and many of the states that would be affected by this change feel differently. Almost to a man, the farming community believes this to be a local issue, best handled by state governments, and not some Washington DC agency.

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    • Dacama

      Maybe we should think about the 10th in this case…

    • Dacama

      Maybe we should think about the 10th in this case…

    • Dacama

      Maybe we should think about the 10th in this case…

    • Dacama

      Maybe we should think about the 10th in this case…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1553468735 Anna Calder

      Pass the pitchforks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1553468735 Anna Calder

      Pass the pitchforks.

    • Thomaslaumann

      Again the FED’s try and screw small town America!!

    • Thomaslaumann

      Again the FED’s try and screw small town America!!

    • Thomaslaumann

      Again the FED’s try and screw small town America!!

    • Thomaslaumann

      Again the FED’s try and screw small town America!!

    • Black Flag

      Obama’s people fanning out across the country, destroying everything in their path. Meanwhile, the Republicans sit on their hands. Why aren’t we marching yet? Off with their heads!

    • Black Flag

      Obama’s people fanning out across the country, destroying everything in their path. Meanwhile, the Republicans sit on their hands. Why aren’t we marching yet? Off with their heads!

    • Black Flag

      Obama’s people fanning out across the country, destroying everything in their path. Meanwhile, the Republicans sit on their hands. Why aren’t we marching yet? Off with their heads!

    • Black Flag

      Obama’s people fanning out across the country, destroying everything in their path. Meanwhile, the Republicans sit on their hands. Why aren’t we marching yet? Off with their heads!

    • http://bluecollarphilosophy.com BlueCollarTodd

      I grew up in Montana and I got my drivers license at 15. I know that kids who lived on farms could help out and drive farm equipment. This regulation would cause serious harm to farmers across the country. Slavery through regulation.

    • http://bluecollarphilosophy.com BlueCollarTodd

      I grew up in Montana and I got my drivers license at 15. I know that kids who lived on farms could help out and drive farm equipment. This regulation would cause serious harm to farmers across the country. Slavery through regulation.

    • http://bluecollarphilosophy.com BlueCollarTodd

      I grew up in Montana and I got my drivers license at 15. I know that kids who lived on farms could help out and drive farm equipment. This regulation would cause serious harm to farmers across the country. Slavery through regulation.

    • http://bluecollarphilosophy.com BlueCollarTodd

      I grew up in Montana and I got my drivers license at 15. I know that kids who lived on farms could help out and drive farm equipment. This regulation would cause serious harm to farmers across the country. Slavery through regulation.

    • Bgdmswede

      hahaha luv it… but you’re right, it’s time to stop the nonsense! Reducing Americans to peons …gggrrrrr.

    • Bgdmswede

      hahaha luv it… but you’re right, it’s time to stop the nonsense! Reducing Americans to peons …gggrrrrr.

    • Jim up north

       ”Ties to George Soros and center for progress is all you need to know” that disgusting old toad is trying to destroy this country from all angles. Top ( oboma) to bottom  department of transportation for christs sake.

    • Jim up north

       ”Ties to George Soros and center for progress is all you need to know” that disgusting old toad is trying to destroy this country from all angles. Top ( oboma) to bottom  department of transportation for christs sake.

    • 1sht1kill

      Fuck the DOT …. they a can kiss my ass.

    • Bzpalecat

      They are trying to get rid of the small farmers and get more taxes…which won’t reaaly work well when a farmer loses his farm!!

    • Dr. Jerry

      I learned to drive on the farm at 12 years old!  By 15 I drove everything on that farm…and I drove it everywhere…most farms can not survive if family members, some of them pretty young, can not haul hay, drive a tractor to the barn, or use the old truck to spread feed in the field…this is just more governmental over reaching and Obama cronies pressing their ologarchy!

      Don’t just get the pitchforks…get ‘em and start the march toward Washington DC!

    • remmy

      These government agencies have to justify their existence.  The only way they can do that is to think up more and more regulations.  Once implemented they next step is enforcement.  The enforcement part requires additional employees.

    • bacongreasenapalm

      Mexicans can drive their hazardous drug-laden trucks un-abated thru our country without any inspections or CDLs but our farmers are required to have CDLs to drive a fucking tractor on their own fucking property. Unbelievable attack on rural America. WAR.

      …Interesting coincidence how that part of NAFTA was finally ratified after fifteen years (RIGHT AFTER THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT THREATENED TO PROSECUTE “GUNWALKERS” IN MEXICO)

    • bacongreasenapalm

      Farmers need to figure out a way to strike against this. THIS IS WAR! The feds are also trying to regulate farm goods as “INTERSTATE COMMERCE” beacause the food MAY be sold EVENTUALLY across some state line.

    • Richardanthonyfarmer

      communist bastards. what’s next “o hail the grate oboma”. are you gonna start slaughtering the catholics and christians next. Its comming ,american holocaust. thanks to the obama regime .the gmo seed making motherfuckers with your gmo seeds.when are we going to take back are nation and put it back to under god, and for the people by the people. Lets just not march lest storm the capital. was gonna be enough before after they start tattooing your kids .

    • MoreInformedThanYou

      Jesus, didn’t any of you people read the damn  legislation … IT STATES THE FOLLOWING:

      “Under the Agency’s CDL regulations, persons who operate a CMV, as defined in 49 CFR 383.5,
      in interstate or intrastate commerce are required to have a CDL.
      However, a limited exception is provided for drivers of farm vehicles (49 CFR 383.3(d)(1)). A State may, at its discretion, exempt drivers of farm vehicles that are:Show citation box

      (1) Controlled and operated by a farmer, including operation by employees or family members;Show citation box

      (2) Used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies to or from a farm;Show citation box

      (3) Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; andShow citation box

      (4) Used within 241 kilometers (150 miles) of the farmer’s farm.Show citation box

      The exception is limited to the driver’s home State unless there is a reciprocity agreement with adjoining States.Show citation box

      It has come to
      FMCSA’s attention that States may be taking varied approaches in
      interpreting the meaning of “common or contract motor carrier” as it
      relates to farm vehicle drivers operating under a crop share agreement
      and, as a result, may be applying the CDL exception inconsistently.”

      For the love of science, don’t be idiots and actually become informed on a subject before responding. 

      Contact your local state reps and have them impose exemptions. 

    • deboss

      oh,,no they wont,,mess with farmers?its civil war,,washington will burn!!!

    • Netizen_james

      This is simply false.  There IS NO such proposed rule.  Beck and the Blaze have LIED to you.  Stop being Sheeple.  Learn to think for yourselves!

    • farmer john

      beck dont lie there is a preposle for this

    • Traceman43

      I say the Farmers and People start telling the DOT and U.S. Govt to go screw themselves…”WE AIN’T Doing IT”

    • Traceman43

      Inform YOURSELF!!! You are citing from CLASSIFICATION rules, only! The U.S. DOT most certainly IS proposing such new regulation….public comment period ended on the proposal on 08-01-11. There IS no current legislation…it will be mandated by the U.S. DOT…superceding the state’s rights, altogether. Leran before you speak!

    • Tim

      Hey, LessInformedThanYouThink…..if you had actually researched what is being proposed you would have found that the FMCSA is attempting to unilaterally reclassify ALL farm equipment at CMV’s, which would give the Feds immediate regulatory control over them and all operations involving them. 

      The basis for thier actions is the assertion that all food producers are involved in interstate commerce…..which is of course absurd to anyone with common sense.

      While you are correct in your citing of the details in your post….those are the very things that the FMCSA is trying to changeby taking the determination of who is/is not engaged in exempt forms of commerce out of the hands of the states.

    • Tim

      Hey, LessInformedThanYouThink…..if you had actually researched what is being proposed you would have found that the FMCSA is attempting to unilaterally reclassify ALL farm equipment at CMV’s, which would give the Feds immediate regulatory control over them and all operations involving them. 

      The basis for thier actions is the assertion that all food producers are involved in interstate commerce…..which is of course absurd to anyone with common sense.

      While you are correct in your citing of the details in your post….those are the very things that the FMCSA is trying to changeby taking the determination of who is/is not engaged in exempt forms of commerce out of the hands of the states.

    • Jakemp

      what about lawn mowers?

    • Jakemp

      what about lawn mowers?

    • Jakemp

      what about lawn mowers?

    • Rob

      I guess they want to make every family farm the next Waco!

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely INSANE! Vote the Bastards out before they totall destroy this country.

    • http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/feedback-for-8-8-11 Survival Podcast Listener Feedback for 8-8-11 | The Survival Podcast

      [...] Story about the CDL required for Farm Trucks (this one seems to have it wrong as it says it applies to “any farm equipment”) [...]

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000303738640 Brian Birmingham

      hey you pudding heads http://fastlane.dot.gov/2011/08/fmcsa-and-ag-operators.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=738051943 John Stratton

      This is just all kinds of wrong ,, Not that farmers can’t pass the test but this is mostly off road equipment & don’t need CDL or government involvement . Just another greedy way of taking control of peoples lives . There’s way more harm to this than can be put here in a few lines .

    • Amy

      Wow! I’m a farm wife. I make the lunches. I flag my husband and the hired hands when they need me to. Does that mean I have to get  CDL to drive the service truck now. I suggest that farmers FINALLY unite – all across the country. Let them pass their “legislation by regulation.” Let them ticket all of us, but DON’T pay the fine. If NO ONE follows the law it will make news and eventually be repealed. The reason laws are passed successfully is because they know we are NOT the farmers. We are the sheep that they farm! 

    • Anonymous

      It’s time
      to stop arguing over the culture war. It’s time to stop hunkering down for the
      apocalypse. It’s time to stop waiting to get beamed up. It’s time to start
      thinking Normandy.

       

      If you
      sit home waiting your turn you deserve to have your gun taken from your cold
      dead hands.

       

      The
      Founders didn’t wait for the Brits to knock down their doors. They gathered at
      the green and stood up like men and they killed government employees all the
      way back to Boston.

       

      What will
      you do when it’s time to hunt NWO hacks, republicrats and commies(“Liberals”
      and ‘progressives’)?

       

      Don’t
      understand? Start here: http://willowtown.com/promo/quotes.htm
      Then read my column ‘Prepping for Slavery’

    • Anonymous

      It’s time
      to stop arguing over the culture war. It’s time to stop hunkering down for the
      apocalypse. It’s time to stop waiting to get beamed up. It’s time to start
      thinking Normandy.

       

      If you
      sit home waiting your turn you deserve to have your gun taken from your cold
      dead hands.

       

      The
      Founders didn’t wait for the Brits to knock down their doors. They gathered at
      the green and stood up like men and they killed government employees all the
      way back to Boston.

       

      What will
      you do when it’s time to hunt NWO hacks, republicrats and commies(“Liberals”
      and ‘progressives’)?

       

      Don’t
      understand? Start here: http://willowtown.com/promo/quotes.htm
      Then read my column ‘Prepping for Slavery’

    • Sam

      The more I research this issue the more I’m convinced it’s a power grab against rural America. Ever heard of a slippery slope in the law? This is one of those instances. Once this is done the government and corporate interests will continue to boil the frog.

    • Sam

      The more I research this issue the more I’m convinced it’s a power grab against rural America. Ever heard of a slippery slope in the law? This is one of those instances. Once this is done the government and corporate interests will continue to boil the frog.

    • Randy20

      netizen  you are an idiot!  I just went through my first audit with dot coming to my house and explainig the new rules.we do have to have a cdl to haul our landlords share of grain to the elevator.

    • http://gulagbound.com/19497/obamas-plan-to-remove-family-farmers-from-their-land/ Obama’s Plan to Remove Family Farmers from their Land

      [...] the Department of Transportation’s recent announcement of its intention to reclassify farm vehicles and implements as “commercial” vehicles and require all drivers of these vehicles to hold [...]

    • http://noisyroom.net/blog/2011/08/17/obama%e2%80%99s-plan-to-remove-family-farmers-from-their-land/ NoisyRoom.net » Blog Archive » Obama’s Plan to Remove Family Farmers from their Land

      [...] the Department of Transportation’s recent announcement of its intention to reclassify farm vehicles and implements as “commercial” vehicles and require all drivers of these vehicles to hold [...]

    • Scotblkhwk71

      this is just another scheme by the government to take another step toward socialism, not that we arent a socialist country already, our economy is built on how our small business prosper and so far it seems the government is determined to cut off the hand that feeds america. i feel that this is tyrantical act for the government to continue to try and gain control of every aspect of our lives. i am sick and tired of seeing my freedoms and liberties stripped from myself and my fellow countrymen. this is the same treatment  our forefathers endured before our independance was won from england 250 yrs ago and if we all give in to this tyranny, our forefathers, our sons, our sisters, brothers,  our fathers and mothers that made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom have died in vain. i served my country and have bared witness some of my fellow brothers give the ultimate sacrifice as did many others in the past to retain our freedoms and liberties we share and love dearly. anyone who reads this story of how the government plans to mandate this; write your government, senators, representitives, even your local and state government officials and tell them we will not adhere to this tyranny. we must meet this now and not after it is done.

    • 1/507th P.I.R.

      GODDAMN THEM!  Damn them to the darkest corner of Hell that exists!

      This directly affects me… I’m a small farmer.. HOW am I supposed to come up with the money to undergo all this training?  I don’t sell out of state, I’m local..

      I also served my Republic for most of my adult life before being medically retired.. and THIS is the thanks I get for wanting to live my own life by my leave, beholden to none, trying to contribute to my community?

      Fuck me… might be time to pick up a rifle again and go back to work.. ’cause that’s what these communist motherfuckers are pushing us into…

    • Newhuber

      When does it end????  Gov. says they want better time and then regulate us to death….This is an unnessasery mandate and will cause unnessasery harm to the AG community….

    • Person75us

      Time to end this people Enough regulation ! I say we do what Americans do organize and stamp out oppression ! Revolution now !! I say to all farmers if they don’t stop this now hold all grain in your bins this year ! Even a rumor of this will drive prices through the roof ! High food prices will get everyone on board!

    • http://cowpattie.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/agenda-21-aka-carolina-thread-project/ AGENDA 21 aka CAROLINA THREAD PROJECT « Claremont CowPattie

      [...] the Department of Transportation’s recent announcement of its intention to reclassify farm vehicles and implements as “commercial” vehicles and require all drivers of these vehicles to hold a Commercial [...]

    • RetiredVet

      The federal government on Wednesday, 10 Aug, 2011 announced it is scrapping plans to require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses to operate their tractors.click image to enlarge
      Steve Christianson dismounts a tractor after harrowing a summer squash patch Tuesday in Mount Vernon. The manager of Belle Vue Farm, in Readfield, was relieved to learn that the federal government Wednesday scrapped plans to require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses to operate their tractors.
      Staff photo by Andy Molloy
      Select images available for purchase in theMaine Today Photo StoreThe decision came after thousands of angry farmers and farm organizations blasted the measure as unnecessary meddling.”I think the Department of Transportation was trying to elicit feedback from the farmers,” said Clark Granger, a board member of the Augusta-based Maine Farm Bureau. “They got an earful.

    • RetiredVet

      The federal government on Wednesday, 10 Aug, 2011 announced it is scrapping plans to require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses to operate their tractors.click image to enlarge
      Steve Christianson dismounts a tractor after harrowing a summer squash patch Tuesday in Mount Vernon. The manager of Belle Vue Farm, in Readfield, was relieved to learn that the federal government Wednesday scrapped plans to require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses to operate their tractors.
      Staff photo by Andy Molloy
      Select images available for purchase in theMaine Today Photo StoreThe decision came after thousands of angry farmers and farm organizations blasted the measure as unnecessary meddling.”I think the Department of Transportation was trying to elicit feedback from the farmers,” said Clark Granger, a board member of the Augusta-based Maine Farm Bureau. “They got an earful.

    • Howardkromis

      I believe that this will be shown to be overblown hype, misleading the uninformed public to garner earlier dislike and disdain of an action before the real intent of the regulation is known.  Interstate commerce is regulated by the federal government and is in regard to commerce between the states and traveling across state lines. Intrastate commerce is business conducted within any one state and is controlled and regulated by the state government where the business is conducted.

    • Howardkromis

      PLEASE, PDEOPLE… Use the intelligence that God gave you to research what you are told before you go out and lynch someone for something that isn’t true. Read for yourself to see another lie that has been told to promote discontent and sway your mind and gain control of your vote. Read this   http://fastlane.dot.gov/2011/08/fmcsa-and-ag-operators.html    and stop allowing the liars from controlling your brains!
      I have been a farmer for over 50 years.  Stop and think how many “5 acre farmers” use their ag exemption to license their dump trucks and trailers while hauling sand and gravel and hauling their backhoes and paving machines to do excavating, installing septic systems, driveways, digging basements and all kinds of things not related to farming!  Calm down and think it through. Most of the stories that I see from certain sources can be found on “snopes.com”  repeatedly lying about something. LOOK IT UP FIRST! before making a fool of yourself by passing or commenting on a lie. Know the truth!.

    • Billlyjo

      Why do farmers not have to have a cdl liscense for driving thier Semi Trucks? Are they something special, comon man they get all the breaks the way it is I think that making them have cdl licsense for at least thier semi trucks is as fair as it gets. Safety training for them is just as important as it is for the rest of us.

    • Writer Amywarwick

      Billyjo, it is my understanding that this plan was scrapped. Not sure if that is still true or not. My response to your comment is that I am a farm wife. I run for parts, flag my husband’s equipment, run lunches out, etc. My limited – possibly feared – understanding of how far this could go would be that it would “require everyone who worked for the farm” to have a CDL. I should not need a CDL to deliver lunches and pick up parts. Nor can we afford as small farmers to hire people who have CDLs for all of our hired help jobs. I believe the difference between why farmers shouldn’t have to have one vs. why truckers should is that when we move down the highway we are always, always traveling very short distances, we have flaggers, and we only go 10-15 mph. That is way different than someone who drives a long haul truck for a living. Even our truck drivers only drive a short distance to the elevator. Again, I understand this is scrapped anyway, but that was my original fear. Hope I don’t get completely blasted for giving an opinion. :)

    • Charlesmorris609

      Well as far as the CDL for pulling grain wagons, and driving equipment , I live in Illinois on a State Highway. We have had 4 mailbox and poles hit this year. Being disabled makes this get expensive,,,,fast. The neighbors and I are sick of this and want it to stop. I grew up helping my girlfriends dad on the farm, I know how inportant farmers are. BUT, the day of the poor farmer is over, they can afford to replace what they damage, don’t even try to cry poor guys. The equipment is getting way to big to be on the rural highways, and should be used on back roads only.  The farmers around here just expect people to deal with it…. wrong. All wagons, and farm equipment needs to be licensed for the road, require an operators permit, liability insurance, and be fined for leaving the scene of an accident for damaging property and not reporting it.