Tractors lumbering down country roads are as common as deer in rural Montana, but the federal government wants to place new driving regulations on farmers and ranchers.
"It's a huge deal for us," said John Youngberg of the Montana Farm Bureau. After years of allowing state governments to waive commercial driver's license requirements for farmers hauling crops or driving farm equipment on public roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is poised to do away with the exceptions.
Regulators are suggesting that all wheat shipments be considered interstate, even when farmers making short hauls to local grain elevators aren't crossing state lines. The change would make commercial driver's licenses — and all the log books and medical requirements that go with them — a necessity for farmers. Some might not qualify.
Proposed road rules for farmers anger some
Mon, 25 Jul 2011 18:40:09 UTC
So why now? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says it wants to make sure federal safety regulations are being carried out uniformly across the nation. But that argument was true 50 years ago. And do they really wish to impose commercial licenses on hundreds of thousands of farmers who haul their grain and hay across a highway?
Something smells. And it ain't the cow droppings.