Regulatory Representation for Truck Transportation: Trucking is a critical mode of transportation for rural America. It carries 70 percent of agricultural and food products, alcohols, fertilizers, lumber, wood products, paper, pulp, and paperboard articles. It links farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service industries to grain elevators, ethanol plants, processors, feedlots, markets, ports, intermodal, rail, and barge facilities. Because of agriculture's reliance on trucking, the availability of trucks and drivers, especially during planting and harvest, is critical to farmers' profitability. Commercial motor vehicle and driver requirements are enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Statutory exemptions, waivers, and 2-year limited exemptions accommodate the needs of agriculture. Under the authority of Section 1622(j) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, AMS comments on issues of concern.
- FHWA-1997-2312-0018, Maximum Driving and On Duty Time Waiver; Farmers and Farm Supplies; February 6, 1995.
- FMCSA-2007-27748-0621, Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators, May 20, 2008.
- FMCSA-2011-0146-1325, Regulatory Guidance: Applicability of Regulations to Operators of Certain Farm Vehicles and Off-Road Agricultural Equipment, August 1, 2011.
- AMS and other staff met with trade associations and FMCSA staff regarding the tremendous amount of farm supplies such as anhydrous ammonia fertilizer to be transported to farms from wholesale and retail distribution points during the 2010 spring planting and fall harvest seasons over short periods of time, weather permitting.
FMCSA subsequently issued a limited 90-day waiver for wholesale as well as retail distribution of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer, followed by a limited 2-year exemption, which expires October 9, 2012, unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption may be renewed by FMCSA; the FMCSA will provide notice and an opportunity for public comment prior to renewing the exemption.