New Waiver to Exempt Some PA Farm Trucks from Marking Requirements

Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Waiver Exempts Some PA Farm Trucks from Marking Requirement

Harrisburg – Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding advised today that some farm trucks may be exempt from the commercial motor vehicle marking requirement under a new waiver granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The waiver, signed earlier this month by PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, exempts farm trucks from having to display the name of the owner/operator and U.S. DOT number, provided the trucks are operated exclusively in Pennsylvania and do not transport hazardous materials of a type/quantity requiring the vehicle to display a hazardous material placard.

“This marks our latest effort to ensure the safety of Pennsylvania’s roadways while not placing any undue burden on our agricultural community,” said Redding. “I thank farm truck owners and operators for their efforts to understand the motor carrier safety regulations and continued cooperation with authorities.”

Following a 2007 federal audit citing a number of non-compliance issues, Pennsylvania updated its motor carrier safety regulations to improve safety and also bring the state into compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration laws. This prevented the state from losing $28 million in federal funding for enforcement and highway funds. The amended regulations, which meet federal requirements, took effect last April 24.

To ensure farmers were not negatively affected by the regulations, the Agriculture department formally clarified that the regulations do not apply to farm tractors and extended the growing season from nine months to year-round. The rules provide exemptions from some recordkeeping and driver hours-of-service requirements for farmers operating within a 100 miles of the farm during the growing season.

To further reduce the impact of the intrastate motor carrier safety regulations on the agriculture industry, Governor Edward G. Rendell in October signed Act 81, which said a vehicle’s or its combination weight or weight rating must exceed 26,001 pounds to be subject to the intrastate motor carrier safety regulations. Previously, the threshold was 17,000 pounds.

The intrastate motor carrier safety regulations continue to apply to all farm trucks transporting hazardous materials that require a hazardous material placard.

Redding also reminded farmers that farm trucks, which are not subject to the motor carrier safety regulations, are still subject to the equipment requirements of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, like all other vehicles in Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “Transportation.”


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One Comment

  1. Junje says:

    The exempts farm trucks from having to display the name of the owner/operator and number is also a policy in Scotland. I’m glad will Pennsylvania adopt it.

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