Section 32934 provides a statutory exemption from most of the FMCSRs, including those pertaining to commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and driver physical qualifications (medical) requirements, for the operation of “covered farm vehicles” by farm and ranch operators, their employees, and certain other specified individuals under specific circumstances. The operation of “covered farm vehicles” is exempt from:
The term “covered farm vehicle” includes any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) (defined in 49 CFR 390.5, but excluding vehicles transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards), traveling in the State in which the vehicle is registered or another State, and:
(a) Is operated by— (i) a farm owner or operator, or an employee or family member of the farm owner or operator; or (ii) a ranch owner or operator; or an employee or family member of the ranch owner or operator.
(b) Is being used to transport to or from a farm or ranch— (i) agricultural commodities; (ii) livestock; or (iii) machinery or supplies;
(c) Is equipped with a special license plate (etc Farm Tag) or other designation by the State in which the vehicle is registered to allow for identification of the vehicle as a farm vehicle by law enforcement personnel; and
(d) Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, whichever is greater, that is— (i) 26,001 pounds or less, for vehicles operating in interstate commerce anywhere in the United States; or (ii) greater than 26,001 pounds and traveling in interstate commerce within the State in which it is registered, or (iii) greater than 26,001 pounds and traveling in interstate commerce within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated, regardless of whether it is being operating within the State it is registered.
The operation of “covered farm vehicles” is exempt from:
• 49 CFR Part 383: Commercial Driver’s License Standards; Requirements and Penalties.
• 49 CFR Part 382: Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing.
• 49 CFR Part 391: Subpart E: Physical Qualifications and Examinations.
• 49 CFR Part 395: Hours of Service.
• 49 CFR Part 396: Inspection, Repair and Maintenance.
The exemptions took effect on October 1, 2012
Hours of Service (HOS) Exemptions for Agriculture Vehicles
In the most recent highway reauthorization bill (MAP-21) passed by Congress and signed by the President, Section 32101(d) provides hours of service exemptions during State defined planting and harvest periods for certain agriculture vehicles. In Arkansas, harvest season has been defined as 365 days a year.
Effective immediately, hours of service regulations found in 49 CFR, Part 395, shall not apply to the following:
• Drivers transporting agricultural commodities from the source of the agricultural commodities to a location within a 150 air-mile radius from the source;
• Drivers transporting farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale or retail distribution point of the farm supplies to a farm or other location where the farm supplies are intended to be used within a 150 air-mile radius from the distribution point; or
• Drivers transporting farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale distribution point of the farm supplies to a retail distribution point of the farm supplies within a 150 air-mile radius from the wholesale distribution point.