Nebraska farmers and ranchers can look forward to regulatory relief in the area of farm truck regulations thanks to the passage of a bill supported by Nebraska Farm Bureau. Gov. Dave Heineman signed LB 983 into law March 28 after state lawmakers gave final approval to the measure. The law includes provisions designed to bring Nebraska farm truck regulations in line with federal farm truck requirements.
“The passage of federal MAP-21 legislation in 2012 provided some exemptions for farm operated vehicles as it relates to Commercial Driver License (CDL) requirements, hours of service, medical testing and some other requirements. Up until now, Nebraska farmers and ranchers haven’t been able to take advantage of those changes. The passage of this bill allows us to do so as has been the case in other states,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.
One of the most notable changes allowed by the legislation is the exemption from CDL requirements for farm covered vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating less than 26,000 pounds, regardless of how far the farm vehicle travels. The changes also provide the CDL exemption to farm vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds provided they operate within the state or a 150-mile radius from their farm operation.
“Most family farm and ranch operations in Nebraska, and the drivers of the farm-plated vehicles used in these operations, are by no means commercial trucking operations. Yet at the same time, they rely heavily upon trucking and hauling to maintain their farm business. We believe these changes will give the appropriate degree of regulatory flexibility and relief for farm and ranch families and are proud to have helped make these changes reality,” said Nelson.
Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton introduced the original bill containing the changes and Farm Bureau worked closely with the Nebraska State Patrol and others to help bring the bill to fruition.
“We greatly appreciate the work of everyone involved and look forward to continuing that effort as we help bring awareness to what these changes mean for Nebraska farm and ranch families,” said Nelson.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, state wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 56,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit nefb.org.