Pending the loss of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program funding, the State of Alabama created Act 2008-336, exempting farmers from intrastate regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Act. Act 2008-336 was signed into law on May 13, 2008, by Governor Bob Riley. This exemption freed Alabama farmers from U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 49 CFR regulations under certain conditions. The new rule raises the gross combination weight ratings (GVWR) for farm vehicles and exempts farmers from requirements for DOT number markings and hours-of-service regulations.
Farm Truck Weight Exemptions
According to Act 2008-336, straight trucks and trucks with trailers having gross vehicle weight ratings or gross combination weight ratings of 26,000 pounds or less (other than passenger buses and hazardous material haulers) are exempt from all federal regulations while operating within the state of Alabama. Hours of service rules for drivers (49 CFR 395) will not be applied to drivers transporting agricultural or farm supplies for agricultural purposes in Alabama at any time during the year. No DOT registration or numbering is required for these farm-owned vehicles.
Alabama Farm Truck DOT Exemption
According to Act 2008-336, CDL, DOT number marking or DOT registration will not be required for farm-owned vehicles operating within 150 air miles of the farm. Farm-owned vehicles traveling farther than 150 miles from the farm must comply with DOT 49 CFR number marking and DOT registration. DOT numbers are issued during the DOT registration process.
Act 2008-336 Exceptions
According to Act 2008-336, straight trucks and trucks used with a trailer other than hazardous material, having gross vehicle weight ratings or gross combination weight ratings of more than 26,000 lbs., and operating within 150 miles from the farm will also be treated as exempt from all federal regulations, except the following, while operating within the state of Alabama: minimum age requirement of 18 years of age to operate the vehicles (49 CFR 391.67); Inspection, repair and maintenance of vehicle, including driver vehicle inspection reports if more than one commercial vehicle is owned (49 CFR 396); and the requirement that the driver meet physical qualifications to operate a combination vehicle (49 CFR 391.67) (Medical Cards 49 CFR 391.43).