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RegSenseFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOTDriver qualification and hiringUnauthorized passengersEnforcement - DOTezExplanationCMV drivingTransportationHours of ServiceHours of ServiceDriver qualificationsEnglishCommercial drivers license CDLBusiness planning - Motor CarrierCommercial drivers license CDL30-minute break ruleFederal Motor Carrier Safety RegulationsFleet SafetyBest ResultsFocus AreaUSA
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) include several exceptions for commercial motor vehicles and drivers engaged in agricultural operations.
The FMCSRs — and the agricultural-related exceptions to those rules — apply to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and their drivers.
- 49 CFR 390.5 — Definitions
- 49 CFR 383.3 — Applicability
- 49 CFR 390.39 — Exemptions for covered farm vehicles
- 49 CFR 391.2 — General exceptions
- 49 CFR 391.67 — Farm vehicle drivers of articulated commercial motor vehicles
- 49 CFR 392.60 — Unauthorized persons not to be transported
- 49 CFR 395.1 — Scope of rules in this part
- Agricultural commodity: Any agricultural commodity, non-processed food, feed, fiber, or livestock (including livestock as defined in sec. 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 [7 U.S.C. 1471] and insects).
- Commercial motor vehicle: A self-propelled or towed vehicle used on a highway to transport property or passengers when the vehicle:
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR), or gross vehicle weight (GVW) or gross combination weight (GCW), of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater; or
- Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
- Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver), and not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
- Is transporting hazardous materials of a type or quantity that requires placarding.
- Covered farm vehicle: A straight truck or articulated vehicle that is:
- Registered in a state with a state-issued license plate or other designation that allows law enforcement officials to identify it as a farm vehicle;
- Operated by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch, or an employee or family member of an owner or operator of a farm or ranch;
- Used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery, or supplies to or from a farm or ranch; and
- Not used in for-hire motor carrier operations; however, for-hire motor carrier operations do not include the operation of a covered farm vehicle by a tenant pursuant to a crop share farm lease agreement to transport the landlord’s portion of the crops under that agreement.
If the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight (whichever is greater), of 26,001 pounds or less, the "covered farm vehicle" exemption may be used anywhere in the United States.
- Farm supplies for agricultural purposes: Products directly related to the growing or harvesting of agricultural commodities during the planting and harvesting seasons within each state, as determined by the state, and livestock feed at any time of the year.
- Farm vehicle driver: A person who drives only a commercial motor vehicle that is:
- Controlled and operated by a farmer as a private motor carrier of property;
- Being used to transport either:
- Agricultural products; or
- Farm machinery, farm supplies, or both, to or from a farm;
- Not being used in the operation of a for-hire motor carrier;
- Not carrying hazardous materials of a type or quantity that requires the commercial motor vehicle to be placarded; and
- Being used within 150 air-miles of the farmer’s farm.
- Farmer: Any person who operates a farm or is directly involved in the cultivation of land, crops, or livestock which are owned by that person or are under the direct control of that person.
- Livestock: Cattle, elk, reindeer, bison, horses, deer, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg-producing poultry), llamas, alpacas, live fish, crawfish, and other animals that are part of a foundation herd (including dairy producing cattle) or offspring; or are purchased as part of a normal operation and not to obtain additional benefits under the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988, as amended.
Summary of requirements
Exceptions. The following is a summary of the farm-related exceptions in the FMCSRs.
- Covered farm vehicles (390.39). A covered farm vehicle, including its driver, is exempt from rules governing:
- Commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) (Part 383),
- Drug and alcohol testing (Part 382),
- Medical cards and medical exams (Part 391, Subpart E),
- Hours of service (Part 395), and
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance (Part 396).
- Driver qualification (391.2).This exemption from Part 391, the driver qualification regulations, applies to custom-harvesting operations, beekeepers, and non-articulated farm vehicle drivers, and exempts them from such things as medical exams, road tests, driver qualification files, background checks, etc. A more limited exception for articulated farm vehicle drivers is found in 391.67.
- CDL licensing (383.3).This exemption authorizes the states to exempt certain farmers from needing a commercial driver's license (CDL). Also, states may issue restricted CDLs to farm-related service industry drivers. Note that drivers who are exempt from needing a CDL are also exempt from DOT-regulated drug or alcohol testing (Part 382).
- Hours of service (§395.1(k)). This exemption from the hours-of-service rules in Part 395 applies to the transportation of agricultural commodities or farm supplies within a 150 air-mile radius during the state’s planting and harvesting season.
- 30-minute breaks (395.1(u)-(v)). Drivers engaged in the interstate transportation of livestock or bees by commercial motor vehicle are exempt from 30-minute rest breaks as long as the livestock or bees are on the vehicle.
- Passengers (392.60(b)). Farmers can transport passengers without first obtaining authorization from the motor carrier.
READ MORESHOW LESS
['Enforcement - DOT', 'Commercial drivers license CDL', 'CMV driving', 'Hours of Service', 'Driver qualifications', 'Business planning - Motor Carrier']
['Hours of Service', 'Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations', 'Commercial drivers license CDL', 'Unauthorized passengers', 'Driver qualification and hiring', '30-minute break rule']
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