National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) Manager of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus said the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) made the right decision to walk away from proposing additional transportation regulations on America's farmers and ranchers.
"The safety of cattle, equipment and other pedestrians on roads is a priority for cattlemen. That is why cattlemen invest time and financial resources to ensure their equipment meets all current transportation standards," Bacus said. "We commend DOT for recognizing that new regulations are unnecessary and we appreciate the agency's commitment to common sense rules for farmers and ranchers."
According to DOT, the agency received around 1,700 comments on the proposal which would have expanded the scope of interstate commerce, further limited agricultural commercial drivers' license (CDL) exemptions and expanded the definition of "implements of husbandry or off-road farm equipment" to bring these implements under jurisdiction of DOT.
"Bacus added that while NCBA had significant concerns with the questions raised by DOT, the organization will continue urging DOT to make improvements to agricultural transportation regulations. He said NCBA supports standardizing truck weight limits across state lines improve the efficiency of commerce and reduce the number of trucks on roadways, providing reciprocity agricultural waivers for Class C drivers' licenses and improving consistency of regulations of farmers and ranchers who participate in both interstate and intrastate commerce.
"The U.S. beef industry is extremely diverse and consists of farmers and ranchers in all 50 states. We need a transportation system that allows farmers and ranchers to safely and efficiently transport their products without placing undue burdens on them," Bacus said. "It is pleasing that DOT walked away from proposing new and expanded regulations. However, NCBA will continue working with the department to improve transportation standards for cattlemen by improving efficiency and safety without imposing additional financial burdens on cattlemen and women."