TSCRA responds to DOT safety regulations
Aug 12, 2011 | 1401 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) submitted comments Monday, Aug. 1, to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding proposed regulatory guidance on the applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSA) to operators of certain farm vehicles and off-road agricultural equipment.

“Personal and commercial transportation is a critical component to the cattle industry. Without a cost effective, efficient and diverse way to transport cattle, the cattle industry would not be what it is today,” said Joe Parker Jr., rancher and president of TSCRA. “With the recent natural disasters like drought and wildfires devastating Texas and Oklahoma, transportation has become even more important to move cattle, feed and equipment across county and/or state lines.”

Reforming transportation regulations by raising truck weight limits on interstate highways and removing the 150-mile restriction on agricultural equipment would benefit cattle producers. TSCRA supports DOT giving states the option to raise truck weight limits on interstate highways from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds as long as trucks include an additional axle, which increases braking capacity, improves fuel efficiency and reduces overall wear on roads and bridges.

Under current law, ranchers operating their vehicles within a radius of 150 miles are not required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Oftentimes during natural disasters, ranchers need to travel greater distances and the 150-mile radius is impractical. TSCRA supports removing the 150-mile restriction.

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