Exemptions in place for farm trucks

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Drivers of Pennsylvania farm trucks and farm truck combinations with an actual weight or weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less operated exclusively within the state are once again exempt from the Commonwealth’s intrastate commercial trucking regulations.

Regulations gone

PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler confirmed in a letter to Pennsylvania Farm Bureau that because of Pennsylvania’s recent enactment of Act 81, which goes into effect Dec. 18, these vehicles and drivers are no longer subject to Pennsylvania’s intrastate motor carrier safety regulations.

Farm Bureau notes that revisions to the regulations in April had removed the exemptions previously provided to farm trucks and drivers for nearly twenty years without compromising public safety.

Costly burden

“April’s changes to Pennsylvania’s intrastate motor carrier regulations imposed excessive, costly and time-consuming age restrictions and medical certification, hours of service, vehicle inspection and record keeping requirements on Pennsylvania’s farmers and farm employees. We appreciate the Commonwealth’s recognition that long-standing, commonsense exemptions from commercial trucking regulations have been restored for farm trucks and drivers of farm trucks at or under the 26,000-pound threshold,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.

Farm Bureau will continue to seek the restoration of previous exemptions at the federal level that focus on farm trucks and trucks with combinations in excess of 26,000 pounds.

“We’ve achieved all possible exemptions for farm truck drivers at the state level and are now shifting our efforts to the federal level, where we will work with a new Congress to enact legislation that will fully restore exemptions that were previously in place,” added Shaffer.

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