The “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21) was signed into law in July 2012, and it included changes to the exemptions that farmers had for hauling agricultural commodities to and from market as they related to for a Commercial Driver’s license, these additional exemptions were allowed when the farmers operated a “Covered Farm Vehicles” as defined in the act.
A “Covered Farm Vehicle” is a vehicle that:
- Is operated by a farm owner, or an employee or family member of the farmer.
- Must carry a special tag issued by the State on the vehicle in order to take advantage of the MAP-21 CDL exemption.
- In Virginia the vehicle must be registered as a Farm Vehicle (F-tag)
- Transports agricultural commodities, livestock or machinery or supplies to and from a farm or ranch.
- Is NOT operated for-hire (hauling for others for compensation).
- Must NOT transport hazardous materials in quantities requiring the display of hazardous material warning placards.
Also in the MAP-21 Act was a requirement for commercial truck drivers to operate under an Hours of Service rule and use an on board Electronic Logging Device. These two rules that went into effect in December has caused a great deal of confusion in the agriculture industry to the extent American Farm Bureau along with many other industry groups lobbied the agency to provide a waiver to the rules to allow more time for the true effect on the industry to be reviewed (especially hauling of livestock) and to see if changed could be made for a more workable program as it is implemented with regard to the agriculture industry. For example when hauling livestock, the health of the animals is paramount and needs to be considered.
Virginia Farm Bureau Federation has added a new resource to attempt to help farmers better understand the rule and exemptions that were included for farmers operating a “covered farm vehicle”. You can access that publication and others on Virginia Farm Bureau’s resource page here: https://www.vafb.com/membership-at-work/farmers-in-action/legislative/resources