Farmer's & Farm Trucks

Regulation Guidance Booklet (abridged)

Index

Farmer Exemptions Overview

General Requirements

Farm Truck Driver Rules

Contact Information & Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Agencies

Farmer Exemptions Overview

Farmers have enjoyed existing exceptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for some time now. But on October 1, 2012, the way certain FMCSRs apply to agricultural operations changed with the implementation of federal reauthorization legislation called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.

One of the biggest changes was the definition of a covered farm vehicle (CFV). Starting that day, a covered farm vehicle is one that is defined as:

  1. Means a straight truck or articulated vehicle---
    1. Registered in a State with a license plate or other designation issued by the State of registration that allows law enforcement officials to identify it as a farm vehicle (In Missouri, this is indicated by the ‘F’ tab on the plate.);
    2. Operated by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch, or an employee or family member of a an owner or operator of a farm or ranch;
    3. Used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from a farm or ranch; and
    4. Not used in for-hire motor carrier operations; however, for-hire motor carrier operations do not include the operation of a vehicle meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition by a tenant pursuant to a crop share farm lease agreement to transport the landlord’s portion of the crops under that agreement.
  2. Meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(i) through (iv) of this definition:
    1. With a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of 26,001 pounds or less may utilize the exemptions in Section 390.39 anywhere in the United States; or
    2. With a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of more than 26,001 pounds may utilize the exemptions in Section 390.39 anywhere in the State of registration or across State lines within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated.

The MAP-21 exceptions did not eliminate the existing farmer exceptions and really are an additional layer of exemptions for qualifying agricultural operations. MAP-21 exceptions are applicable to both interstate and Missouri intrastate transportation. If you intend to conduct intrastate transportation in a State other than Missouri, the exceptions may not be available to you. Please check with the State(s) you intend to operate to ensure compliance.

If your operation meets the definition of a covered farm vehicle operation, the second layer of farmer exceptions would apply as follows:

Light Weight Farm Vehicles
Farm-vehicle-drivers of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 gross vehicle weight rating are exempt with no geographic limitation from:

Large Farm Vehicles
Farm-vehicle-drivers of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or larger driven anywhere in Missouri intrastate commerce or within 150 air-miles of their farm in interstate commerce are exempt from:

Farmers and Agri-Business Operations
Drivers for farmers, for-hire agricultural carriers, and agri-business operations transporting agriculture commodities or farm supplies for agricultural purposes only, are exempt from the hours-of-service requirements if the transportation occurs during planting and harvesting periods, as determined by each state when transporting:

This exemption applies to all types of carriers transporting agricultural commodities including non-farm plated vehicles, for-hire operations, and vehicles required to be placarded.

In Missouri, the planting and harvesting seasons are in effect from January 1 to December 31.
Note: Crossing state lines may require full compliance with this requirement, depending on that adjoining state's planting and harvesting season. While Missouri's is year round, other states do vary.

Missouri Farm License Plate Exemptions
Trucks with Missouri farm license plates designated for farm use by the "F" tab, and licensed for 42,000 pounds or less, are exempt from:

This Missouri farm plate exclusion basically exempts farm vehicles licensed for 42,000 lbs or less from the DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation driver qualifications and file, medical qualification & certification card, hours-of-service rules, and the maintenance file requirements.

Farmers and farm truck drivers are still required to have a Class E Missouri driver’s license or CDL. If a CDL is required, then drug & alcohol testing requirements must be met also. Drivers must be at least 18 years old, speak English, and be physically capable of operating a truck safely. All trucks must be operated with the proper equipment and comply with Missouri state traffic laws.

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General Requirements

Farm Trucks as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs)

Farm trucks are considered commercial motor vehicles (CMV) if they meet the size description of a CMV, which is basically a truck with a gross weight over 10,000 lbs. In Missouri this varies some. Please see the Commercial Motor Vehicle definition in the glossary.

Marking of Farm Trucks

Federal regulations and Missouri State Statutes require that all trucks must have markings on their truck with at least the operating business or farm name and location of the business or farm, on both sides of the truck. In certain cases a USDOT number may be required if crossing state lines at all or hauling for hire. These requirements do include farm trucks.

Insurance Requirements for Farm Trucks

You need to have at least the minimum required amount of state liability insurance coverage on any vehicles operated. Higher public liability may be required if you carry bulk hazardous materials, operate for-hire, or various other factors.

Commercial Driver's License’s (CDL) Requirements for Farm Trucks

A CDL is generally required if;

However, drivers of vehicles meeting the definition of a covered farm vehicle (CFV) are excepted from the CDL requirement. Those drivers operating vehicles which don’t meet the CFV definition are excepted if they strictly meet all of the following guidelines.

The farmer operating their "farm vehicle" as a "farm-vehicle-driver" are exempt from the CDL requirements if:

  1. Farmer transports their own agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies as a private carrier to/from their farm (Not operating as a for-hire carrier or other than farm use), and
  2. Is within 150 miles of the farmer's farm, and
  3. The driver is a farmer, family member of the farmer, or an employee of the farm, operating a farm vehicle, and
  4. Is not required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

A CDL is required if your truck and/or trailer is required to be placarded due to the Hazardous Materials carried, no matter what size or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the truck and trailer.

Missouri Class E Driver's License

This is Missouri's non-CDL license for commercial vehicles that do not require a CDL. This license is required for all non-family employee farm truck drivers if they do not have a CDL.

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Farm Truck Driver Rules

Minimum Age for Farm Truck Drivers

Drivers of a commercial vehicle must be at least 18 years old. Drivers must be at least 21 years old if:

Driver Qualifications

All persons who operate a commercial vehicle are considered "drivers" regardless of pay/non-pay status, being the vehicle owner, etc. In general, all drivers must be of the proper age, speak English, have a valid operating license, not be physically impaired (i.e. not physically incapable of operating a truck), and follow all other applicable state laws.

Equipment and Maintenance Rules for Farm Trucks

All farm trucks must be operated safely with the proper equipment such as lighting, brakes, tires, load-securement, steering and suspension parts, etc. This means that all equipment, parts, and accessories must be properly maintained according to state and federal regulations. Inspections, repairs, and maintenance must be done and documented as explained below.

Intrastate (within Missouri)

OD/OW limits
Limits vary by roadway designation, commercial zone operation, and the type of vehicle. Generally, current Missouri statutory limits are as follows:

Maximum Height

Maximum Width

Maximum Length

Maximum Weight

This is based on gross weight, bridge weight, axle weight and axle spacings. These vary, so please call or visit our website for information regarding RSMo 304.180 for legal weights according to the number of axles and axle spacings.

Weight/height commercial zones set by statute within Missouri:

Weight/height limits set by statute within Missouri:

If hauling livestock 85,500 lbs. is legal on state maintained highways, not allowed on the interstate system and is only good for livestock. The increased weight for grain and grain co-products is now (10% over allowable vehicle configuration axle limitations). Not allowed on the interstate system and is only good for grain or grain co-products.

Missouri For-Hire Hauling Certificate of Authority
For intrastate authority within Missouri, there are a few simple steps to complete:

Note: If you fall under these for-hire hauling requirements, you are then NOT operating as a farmer and none of the previous exemptions from the safety regulations covered will apply to you. You also may not haul for-hire using a Missouri farm license plate.

Interstate (beyond Missouri)

Operation Beyond/Across Missouri State Lines
Any Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) crossing state lines, including farmers and farm trucks, must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and obtain a USDOT number. There may be a charge to receive this required number for private carriers such as farmers. Presently, this can be done by phone, mail, or via the Internet.

Note: There are no exceptions from this requirement, if you cross state lines at all in a Commercial Motor Vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR), even as a farmer.

Hauling For-Hire Beyond Missouri
For interstate operating authority, you must apply to the USDOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for this authority. You may obtain this through the U.S. Department of Transportation. Fees start at approximately $300 and increase from there for each additional authority type needed.

Note: If you fall under these requirements, then you are NOT operating as a farmer and none of the previous exemptions from the safety regulations covered will apply to you.

License Plate Requirements for Interstate Transportation
Missouri farm license plates are essentially local license plates to be used with a 50-mile radius. There are some exceptions within Missouri for occasionally going beyond the 50-mile radius for farm business and personal use. However, adjoining states may have different rules for farm license plates. Farmers are urged to check with the Missouri Department of Revenue, MODOT - Motor Carrier Services, or equivalent agencies of the state in which they will be traveling.

Note: If you are required to have an apportioned license plate, then you are NOT operating as a farmer and none of the previous safety regulation exemptions explained will not apply to you.

Fuel Tax License for Farmers

As a farmer operating across any state lines, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) license requirements apply if any of these three conditions is present:

International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is a required license to operate in interstate commerce and applies to farmers by just crossing state lines. The license is free but requires quarterly reports and submission of fuel taxes. For infrequent trips out of state, a 72-hour permit may be purchased for $10 instead of obtaining this IFTA license. Contact Information & Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Agencies

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Contact Information & Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Agencies

The regulations and requirements in this booklet are explained in a very abbreviated manner and are only a brief overview of some common requirements. The regulations should be consulted for a full explanation of these rules and guidelines. They can be viewed on the websites listed below or copies obtained from any regulatory supplier. The complete regulations and state statutes, while complex, will cover these areas in much more detail and should be read in their entirety.

Please contact any of the agencies listed below to have all your questions fully answered.

Missouri Department of Transportation / Motor Carrier Services Division Safety & Compliance Section
830 MoDOT Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
Office: (573) 751-7117
or Toll Free: 1-866-831-6277
or Fax: (573) 522-4260
Internet: www.modot.state.mo.us/mcs/

Springfield Office - 417-629-3347
Chesterfield Office - 314-340-4013
Jefferson City Office - 573-751-7117
Kansas City Office - 806-622-0041

To obtain for-hire Authority Certificates, Apportioned license plates/IRP, USDOT numbers, IFTA/fuel tax licenses, or Overdimension/Overweight permits:
Missouri Department of Transportation / Motor Carrier Services Division
Compliance Communication Center - (aka "One-Stop Shop")

830 MoDOT Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
Office: (573) 751-7100
Toll Free: 1-866-831-6277
or Fax: (573) 751-4354
http://www.modot.org/mcs

Regulations, forms, & links to MODOT Motor Carrier Services staff and other agencies are available on the Internet at: www.carrier.state.mo.us or http://www.modot.org/mcs.

USDOT- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
3219 Emerald Lane, Suite 500
Jefferson City, MO 65109
(573) 636-3246 / 636-3870 or
FMCSA Information Line: 1-800-832-5660 or www.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Missouri State Highway Patrol - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division
(573) 751-4653 or any local troop of the Missouri State Highway Patrol

These are some of the agencies that farmers may have contact with. In Missouri the primary state agencies for commercial vehicle issues are:

Although penalties may sometimes result, safety and compliance is the primary goal of all these agencies.