Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tractor CDL's

As promised yesterday, today's blog is the Department of Transportation's request for comment on CDL's or Commercial Driver's Licenses for drivers of farm tractors. I got a lot of email on the subject this week and it's been discussed a little on newagtalk.

"Did You Hear? U.S. DOT Seeking Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Regulations for Farm Equipment on Public Roads
By CASE IH | July 29, 2011
Our post earlier this week, “Non-Ag Folks Just Don’t Understand” reminded us that the general public has limited and sometimes misguided information about farming.

“Agvocacy” is needed now more than ever, and farmers have the best opportunity to speak with a credible voice on issues that impact their businesses.

In May, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency that operates within the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), issued a request for public comment on proposed regulations for farmers’ use of public roads, including:

•The distinction between interstate and intrastate commerce for deciding whether operations of commercial motor vehicles within the boundaries of a single State are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
•The factors the States are using in deciding whether farm vehicle drivers transporting agricultural commodities, farm supplies and equipment as part of a crop share agreement are subject to the commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations
•The proposed guidance to determine whether off-road farm equipment or implements of husbandry operated on public roads for limited distances are considered commercial motor vehicles
Basically, they’re seeking comments on whether or not to require tractor and agriculture equipment drivers to have a CDL to operate machinery on public roads.

To follow what’s happening with this issue, check out Russ Quinn’s blog, “A CDL to Operate Farm Equipment” on the DTN/The Progressive Farmer website, or Farm Equipment’s online article, “U.S. DOT Seeking Comment on Proposed Regs for
Farmers Use on Public Roads."

To most farmers just the mention of this idea makes us angry with more intrustion from the federal government on our already difficult job.

In their defense, the way some people drive I can see where more training is needed but I don't think a commercial license is the answer the way it is currently set up. It may help the driver in a lawsuit from an accident but it's too much regulation for the roads we share.

Cell phoning and texting should be outlawed first. And if we have to have a commercial license, how about all those old folks like me driving down the road in bus sized camper? Once you start regulation because of stupidity it just never ends.

My personal kudo's to the Illinois Farm Bureau Federation for being on top of this issue.



  1. It's just another grab for money and control. Don't be surprised if they try floating a "pedestrian license" at some point.

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