Farmers across Pennsylvania will once again be exempted from certain regulations and requirements affecting farm trucks after legislation signed recently by Governor Rendell is implemented. Provisions of House Bill 2246 apply to drivers of farm trucks or combinations operated within Pennsylvania, which have a weight or weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less.
“The law restores commonsense exemptions for farmers in Pennsylvania. The excessive, costly and time-consuming rules related to minimum age restriction, medical certification, hours of service, vehicle inspection and record keeping will be gone,” said PFB President Carl Shaffer.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania rescinded the exemptions for agriculture, believing that the Commonwealth would otherwise lose federal highway safety funds. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau secured verification from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that individual states can allow agricultural exemptions for such drivers and vehicles without forfeiting federal monies.
“Pennsylvania Farm Bureau worked directly with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ensure the final language in the bill would be consistent with federal standards and not jeopardize federal funding for Pennsylvania,” added Shaffer.
Farm Bureau notes that all exemptions possible for agriculture have been achieved on the farm truck driver issue at the state level and now will focus on pressing lawmakers at the federal level to pass HR 1220, which deals with farm trucks and trucks with combinations in excess of 26,000 pounds.
“PFB will continue to work with Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to enact federal legislation to fully restore exemptions that were in place before the changes to state regulations earlier this year,” concluded Shaffer.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 50,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.