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CS/SB 1046 — Farm Vehicles

by Transportation Committee and Senator Hutson

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Transportation Committee (TR)

The bill expressly authorizes in state law certain federally-authorized exemptions for “covered farm vehicles,” defined as a straight truck, or an articulated vehicle, that is:

  • Registered in a state with a license plate, or any other designation which allows law enforcement officers to identify it as a farm vehicle;
  • Operated by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch or by an employee or a family member of an owner or operator of a farm or ranch;
  • Used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery, or supplies to or from a farm or ranch; and
  • Not used in for-hire motor carrier operations; however, for-hire motor carrier operations do not include the operation of a vehicle by a tenant pursuant to a crop-share farm lease agreement to transport the landlord’s portion of the crops under that agreement.

A covered farm vehicle and its driver are exempt from federal motor carrier safety regulations relating to controlled substances and alcohol use and testing; commercial driver licenses; physical qualifications and examinations; hours of service of drivers; and vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance. To claim the exemptions, the vehicle must be registered with a license plate or other designation issued by the state of registration when operating:

  • Anywhere in this state if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of 26,001 pounds or less; or
  • Anywhere in the state of registration, or across state lines within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated, if the CFV has a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of more than 26,001 pounds.

The bill does not allow the federal exemptions if the vehicle is transporting hazardous materials in amounts that require placarding.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2016.

Vote: Senate 37-0; House 116-0