Farmers in IL and probably elsewhere are less than thrilled by impending motor carrier regulations that until now applied only to other folks.
A large percentage of Cornbelt farms have semi-trailer trucks to more efficiently handle high capacity harvesting equipment. While some of those trucks have limited use other than harvest, many others become a second home for farmers who work as commercial carriers when they are not farming. Although they have the required commercial drivers’ licenses and many of their trucks have US Department of Transportation registration, many will not be happy to learn the DOT is working its way down further into their farming operation. Buckle your seat belt.Notice the outraged comments and helpful information in the comments to the above post, but there is a big part of the issue conspicuously absent:
The US Department of transportation has an internal administrative staff to develop rules and regulations and implement those for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. It is designed to enhance safety on public roadways, and part of the rules are licensing and registration for commercial vehicles used in interstate commerce. Over the road truck and bus drivers know all about the FMCSA and its rules. And many farmers who obtained a commercial drivers license from their state department of motor vehicles will be familiar with many of those regulations, and may already have a USDOT number on their vehicle if it has been driven across a state line. [More]
Why should farmers be exempt from these rules?
There may be a case for why my truck loaded with grain should be regulated differently from your truck loaded with carpet, but I don't see any compelling arguments. Instead we have these rather familiar assertions:
- It will cost money.
- It will be a hassle.
- Farmers are different.
What makes us so special?
This is not an issue about regulatory outreach or taxation. It's what happens when special political treatment of farmers ends.
(Yes, I will be affected, since I live 2 miles from the state line.)