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Thread: Farm laws and vehicle uses

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    Default Farm laws and vehicle uses

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ms...7_189909_7.pdf

    MICHIGAN FARMER’S TRANSPORTATION GUIDEBOOK
    Published by the Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division
    In conjunction with the Michigan Farm Bureau
    March 2007
    This document may be reproduced without prior permission.



    [FONT=Arial,Arial][SIZE=2]This publication is based on Michigan state statutes, including the Michigan adoption of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (FMCSR). State statutes referenced in this document include:
    1. • The Michigan Vehicle Code (MVC, Act 300 of 1949, as amended);
    2. • The Michigan Motor Carrier Safety Act; (MMCSA, Act 181 of 1963, as amended); and
    3. • The Michigan Motor Carrier Fuel Tax Act (MMCFTA, Act 119 of 1980, as amended).
    All Michigan statutes can be viewed, printed, and saved at www.legislature.mi.gov. Some counties, cities or townships may have additional laws on use of local streets or roads.
    This publication is for educational purposes only and does not attempt to substitute for or directly quote the laws referenced herein. Although it is intended to keep this document current, these regulations are constantly being revised, so readers are cautioned to consult the actual regulations for compliance. This document does not address all of the regulations, but does discuss those regulations that seem to generate the most questions and concern among farmers. This document may be reproduced without prior permission.
    SOURCES OF INFORMATION



    The Michigan Trucking Association:
    517-321-1951 or www.mitrucking.org

    Copies of Michigan and Federal laws, forms and documents, etc.



    The Michigan Center for Truck Safety:
    800-682-4682 or www.truckingsafety.org

    Truck Drivers Guidebook, Questions answered, Training, etc.



    The Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division:
    Contact your local state police post or www.michigan.gov/motorcarrier

    The Michigan Department of Agriculture: 800-292-3939 or www.michigan.gov/mda
    U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: 202-366-1790 or www.fmcsa.dot.gov
    FMCSA Violation Hotline 888-368-7238
    Safety Ratings/USDOT Numbers/New Entrants 800-832-5660 or www.safersys.org
    Medical Waivers 202-366-4001
    Hazardous Materials Hotline 800-467-4922 or http://hazmat.dot.gov
    VEHICLE AND DRIVER STANDARDS
    General
    Michigan has adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (FHMR) into state law. Compliance with these regulations is required unless a specific federal or state exception exists.



    Intrastate:
    When a load originates and ends within the same state without crossing any state or federal boundaries during shipment.




    Interstate:
    When a load originates in one state, and crosses in transit, or ends across another state or federal boundary.

    Last edited by Yetti; July 22nd, 2007 at 08:17 AM.

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    March 2007

    Commercial Motor Vehicle (Section 390.5 of the FMCSR):
    �� Designed and used on public highways to transport passengers or property; �� Has either a gross weight rating (single or combination) of 10,001 lbs. or more;
    �� Is designed for carrying more than 15 passengers including the driver (not for compensation);
    �� Is designed for carrying more than 8 passengers including the driver (for compensation);
    �� Is used to transport hazardous materials in an amount that requires placarding. As used above, “for compensation” means transportation for-hire. “Not for compensation” would include transportation of employees or contractors in the furtherance of the business or farm. If the vehicle meets the above definition, then it must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), unless excepted.

    Farm Vehicle Driver:
    Farm Vehicle Driver is a person who operates a commercial motor vehicle that is all of the following:
    1) controlled and operated by a farmer, their employee, or family member;
    2) being used to transport agricultural products, farm supplies, or farm machinery to or from a farm;
    3) not being used in a for-hire operation;
    4) not carrying hazardous materials in an amount that requires placarding; AND
    5) being used within 150 air miles of the farm.

    As used in the FMCSR, “farmer” includes a business that operates a farm. The term “for-hire” means a person engaged in transportation of property for compensation. Item # 4 would include anhydrous ammonia tanks.

    NOTE: The term “Farm Vehicle Driver” is used in several places in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, usually providing relief from compliance with the regulations. It must be remembered, however, that to use that exception from the regulations, you must comply with ALL of the above components of the definition.

    NOTE: There is no exception in State or Federal law for farm or agricultural operations from the vehicle equipment standards. Farmers must comply with Parts 392 (Driving of Motor Vehicles), 393 (Parts and Accessories), and 396 (Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

    NOTE: The term “for-hire” can differ considerably from one act of law to another. Generally speaking, “for-hire” means a verbal or written contract to transport someone else’s property for monetary compensation. For certain statutes, it may include compensation other than monetary. General Exceptions Hours of Service For intrastate transportation, Farm Vehicle Drivers are not required to comply with hours of service and log books, Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (MMCSA, 480.15), provided they stay within all the provisions of the definition of “Farm Vehicle Driver” (Section 390.5), including the 150 air-mile radius of the farm.
    For interstate transportation, agricultural operations are allowed an exemption from all of the Hours of Service regulations if operating within a 100 air-mile radius (115 land miles) from the source of the commodities or the distribution point for the farm supplies. For custom harvesters, USDOT interpretations allow the motor carrier to assign drivers to a new work reporting location, thus changing the base for the 100 air-mile radius calculation. Also, USDOT interpretations state that fuel can meet the definition of an agricultural commodity if being used in tractors and other farm equipment. USDOT interpretations state that poultry, poultry feed, livestock, slaughtered animals, or “…grain, corn, hay, etc. used to feed animals, may not use the “agricultural operations” exception.” For interstate transportation outside of the 100 air-mile radius, farmers must comply with the hours of service requirements (Part 395 of the FMCSR).


    March 2007

    Driver Files For intrastate transportation (MMCSA, 480.15),
    Farm Vehicle Drivers are excepted from:
    �� Employment applications;
    �� Investigations and Inquiries of prospective drivers;
    �� Road tests;
    �� Medical qualifications and Medical Certificates;
    �� Maintenance of driver files.

    Driver Qualifications For interstate transportation, single motor vehicles do not have to comply with any of the provisions of Part 391 (Qualification of Drivers).
    For interstate transportation of combination motor vehicles (articulated; e.g., truck tractor and semi trailer or a pickup truck and a stock trailer), Farm Vehicle Drivers are excepted from:
    maintaining list of violations; road test;
    employment application;
    investigation and inquiries on prospective drivers;
    and maintenance of driver files.

    In interstate transportation, farm vehicle drivers of combination vehicles (e.g., truck tractor and semi trailer), must have a medical certificate.

    Additional exceptions are provided to farm custom operations. Part 391 (Driver Qualifications, including medical certificates) does not apply to drivers engaged in custom-harvesting operations, if the vehicle is used to transport farm machinery, supplies to or from a farm for custom-harvesting, or to transport custom-harvested crops to storage or market. Part 391 also does not apply to beekeepers engaged in the seasonal transportation of bees.

    General Regulations Identification:
    If the vehicle meets the federal definition of a commercial motor vehicle (see page 2), it must display the company’s name and USDOT number on both sides of the vehicle. The identification must be in a contrasting color and legible from at least 50 feet. However, for intrastate transportation the identification requirements do not apply to a truck with a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 lbs. that is eligible for and registered under a farm license plate.
    A commercial vehicle with an actual gross weight or GVWR of more than 5,000 lbs. but less than 10,000 lbs. that does not have a farm license plate is required to display the company name, city, and state, on both sides, in a contrasting color, no less than 3” in height. Vehicles between 5,000 lbs. and 10,000 lbs. may choose to comply with the name and USDOT # requirements in lieu of displaying the company name, city, and state. This section does not apply to personal use vehicles. There is no prohibition against using a vehicle displaying identification and/or a USDOT number for personal use.

    To obtain an intrastate USDOT number, go to http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/
    or call the Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division at 888-464-8736.
    To obtain an interstate USDOT number, go to http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/ or call 800-832-5660.

    Intrastate means you do not cross state lines; interstate means you cross state or national borders.

    Accident Records:
    Motor carriers, including farm operations, must maintain an accident register for a period of one year after an accident occurs containing the following information:

    �� Date of accident;
    �� City or town nearest the location the accident occurred, and the State; �� Driver name;
    �� Number of injuries;
    �� Number of fatalities;
    �� Whether hazardous materials (other than fuel from fuel tanks) was released; and
    �� Copies of all accident reports required by States or insurance companies. (Note: all unintentional releases of hazardous materials must be reported on form DOT F 5800.1.)



    Age of Drivers
    The thresholds below apply whether the vehicle is empty or loaded, and apply to any vehicle that meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle (page 2).
    Vehicle/Operation, Farm Vehicle Driver Intrastate or Interstate Not a Farm Vehicle Driver Single Vehicle Minimum age to obtain license Combination Vehicle is 18
    Intrastate 21
    Interstate Hazardous Materials that requires placarding* is 21
    Intrastate or Interstate * Example: A driver of a pickup truck towing an anhydrous ammonia tank (which must be placarded) must be 21 years old and have a CDL with an H and T (or X for both) endorsements.

    For farm tractors, the Department of Labor has said that driving a farm tractor to school is “incidental” to farm operations. There is no minimum age requirement for an immediate family member of the owner of the farm tractor.

    If not an immediate family member of the owner of the farm tractor, the driver:
    • Cannot operate a farm tractor (20HP and over) if under the age of 14.
    • Between ages 14-16, can operate a farm tractor (20HP and over) if he/she has a 4-H or Extension Safety Certificate specifically for farm tractor operations.
    • No restrictions over age 16.
    Last edited by Yetti; July 23rd, 2007 at 08:42 PM.

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    The operation of ATVs on road right-of-ways is restricted to and from farm and field. Any other operation on a right-of-way (shoulder) is illegal. The ATV must be marked with a slow moving vehicle sign if it meets the definition of an implement of husbandry or must display a 100 sq. inch flag (any color, must be reflective material) 8’ above the unit. General traffic regulations apply to a farm tractor or ATV operated on a right of way. An ORV permit is required except for “…a farm vehicle being used for farming…” (e.g., pulling farm wagons, etc.).


    Yetti writes; I am putting this section of the ACT 300 in here with the farm law because as interpeded it uses the road triangles on ATVs for Farm use. I have been told out right you will get a ticket for having one on a quad while using it on the road.



    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT)
    Act 300 of 1949


    257.688 Additional lights or reflectors on buses, trucks, tractors, trailers, implement of husbandry, or special mobile equipment.
    Sec. 688.

    (1) In addition to other equipment required in this chapter, the following vehicles shall be equipped as provided in this section under the conditions stated in section 687:

    (a) On every bus or truck, whatever its size, there shall be on the rear, 2 red reflectors, 1 on each side, and 1 red or amber stop light.

    (b) On every bus or truck 80 inches or more in overall width, in addition to the requirements in subdivision (a), the following:

    (i) On the front, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side.

    (ii) On the rear, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side.

    (iii) On each side, 2 side marker lamps, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the rear.

    (iv) On each side, 2 reflectors, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the rear.

    (v) Three identification lamps, mounted on the vertical centerline of the vehicle or the vertical centerline of the cab where different from the centerline of the vehicle, except that, where the cab is not more than 42 inches wide at the front roofline, a single lamp at the center of the cab shall be considered to comply with the requirements for identification lamps. The identification lamps or their mounts shall not extend below the top of the vehicle windshield.

    (c) On every truck tractor, the following:

    (i) On the front, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side.

    (ii) On the rear, 1 stop light.

    (d) On every trailer, pickup camper, or semitrailer having a gross weight in excess of 3,000 pounds, the following:

    (i) On the front, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side.

    (ii) On each side, 2 side marker lamps, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the rear.

    (iii) On each side, 2 reflectors, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the rear.

    (iv) On the rear, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side, also 2 reflectors, 1 at each side, and 1 stop light.

    (e) On every poletrailer, the following:

    (i) On each side, 1 side marker lamp and 1 clearance lamp which may be in combination, to show to the front, side, or rear.

    (ii) On the rear of the poletrailer or load, 2 reflectors, 1 on each side.

    (f) On every trailer, pickup camper, or semitrailer weighing 3,000 pounds gross or less, on the rear, 2 reflectors, 1 on each side if any trailer or semitrailer is so loaded or is of such dimensions as to obscure the stop light on the towing vehicle, then such vehicle shall also be equipped with 1 stop light.

    (g) Subject to subsection (3), when operated on the highway, every vehicle which has a maximum potential speed of 25 miles an hour, implement of husbandry, farm tractor, or special mobile equipment shall be identified with a reflective device as follows:

    To make a note here; The police don't allow this on an ATV/ORV because it excedes the maximum speed requirements withen the law. the police prefere you use a 100 square inch reflective flag 8' above the road

    (i) An equilateral triangle in shape, at least 16 inches wide at the base and at least 14 inches in height: with a dark red border, at least 1-3/4 inches wide of highly reflective beaded material.

    (ii) A center triangle, at least 12-1/4 inches on each side of yellow-orange fluorescent material.

    (2) The device described in subdivision (g) shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle, broad base down, not less than 3 feet nor more than 5 feet above the ground and as near the center of the vehicle as possible. The use of this reflective device is restricted to use on slow moving vehicles specified in this section, and use of such reflective device on any other type of vehicle or stationary object on the highway is prohibited. On the rear, at each side, red reflectors or reflectorized material visible from all distances within 500 to 50 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps.

    (3) An implement of husbandry manufactured on or after January 1, 2007 shall comply with section 684a.
    Last edited by Yetti; July 24th, 2007 at 10:18 PM.

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    Insurance Part 387 applies to all farmers,
    interstate or intrastate, who are “hauling for hire” or anyone transporting any amount of hazardous materials. This law requires an MCS-90 form to be on file at the company’s place of business. An MCS-90 may also be required if the farmer accepts compensation for another farmer’s products. See Administrative Ruling No. 119 for details.

    Annual Vehicle Inspection Farmers must comply with the annual vehicle inspection requirements in Part 396. A sticker or inspection form must be on any commercial motor vehicle (power unit and any towed unit(s)) when in operation. Persons performing the inspection must meet the qualifications specified in the regulations. Proof of the inspection for the trailer may be kept in the power unit, provided it is made available upon request of a police officer.
    If a farmer has more than one commercial motor vehicle power unit (truck or truck tractor), the driver must complete a written “post-trip” inspection form at the completion of each day’s work on each vehicle operated. This form does not have to be carried in the vehicle.

    A pick-up truck towing an anhydrous ammonia nurse tank meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle (any size vehicle that requires placards) and both units are required to have an annual inspection. Annual inspection forms or stickers must be present for all units in the combination when operated on a roadway. It is the responsibility of the person operating the vehicle on the roadway to ensure that the inspection documentation is available. Agribusiness operations that lease or rent vehicles, including anhydrous ammonia tanks, to farmers, are responsible for ensuring




    Retroreflective Tape The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR; see page 2) require trailers and semi trailers manufactured prior to December 1, 1993, to be retrofitted with retroreflective tape. The regulation applies to trailers and semi trailers with an overall width of 80” and a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 lbs. or more. There is no exception for implements of husbandry or nurse tanks towed by a pick up truck or truck from this requirement. The federal definition of “trailer” and “semitrailer” includes all vehicles that are towed by another vehicle. Refer to Section 393.13 for the color combinations and placement locations that are permitted.

    Brakes Generally, State and Federal Regulations require brakes on all wheels for commercial motor vehicles. Brakes are not required (intrastate and interstate) on a full trailer or semi trailer having an actual gross weight of 3,000 lbs. or less and the weight of the towed vehicle resting on the towing vehicle does not exceed 40% of the actual gross weight of the towing vehicle (Section 393.42 and Section 257.705).

    Farm tractors towing implements of husbandry and self-propelled implements of husbandry are exempt from all of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, intrastate and interstate, including brakes.

    If the implement of husbandry is being towed by a pick up truck, and the combination meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle, brakes are required on all wheels. For example, a pick up truck towing an anhydrous ammonia nurse tank is a commercial motor vehicle, and requires brakes. Or, a pick up truck towing a hay wagon, and the gross combination rating exceeds 10,000 lbs., is a commercial motor vehicle and requires brakes on all wheels.

    Surge brakes are illegal on commercial motor vehicles in interstate transportation. For intrastate transportation, surge brakes are allowed on a combination of vehicles with an actual combination gross vehicle weight or a gross combination weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less, provided the trailer or semitrailer has an actual gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating of 15,000 pounds or less. Vehicles of any size that are transporting hazardous materials in an amount that requires placarding or vehicles that are designed to transport more than 8 passengers, including the driver, are prohibited from being equipped with surge brakes.

    Hitches/Safety Chains/Pulling Trailers Michigan restricts the number of trailers that may be towed and sets standards for the connecting devices. Michigan permits certain vehicles to tow two trailers, and requires those trailers to employ fifth wheel mechanisms.

    There are three exceptions to the 5th wheel requirement: The recreational combination (pick up truck, camper, and boat trailer); a certain type of garbage truck and trailers combination; and the farm tractor and two wagons combination. A pick up truck or straight truck may tow only one farm wagon or nurse tank, regardless of the type of connecting device.

    For vehicles meeting the definition of a commercial motor vehicle (interstate and intrastate), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require the use of two safety chains, one on each side, or one chain in a bridle arrangement. Chains must have an ultimate strength of not less than the actual gross weight of the trailer being towed.

    For intrastate transportation, vehicles that do not meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle (under 10,000 lbs. combination gross weight), are required to have two safety chains, one on each side. This applies to trucks or farm tractors. However, an implement of husbandry with a GVWR (combination or single) of 10,000 lbs. or less, may use the single bridle chain.
    Last edited by Yetti; July 23rd, 2007 at 08:46 PM.

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    Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) Farmers have some unique exceptions to the CDL standard.

    First we will discuss the normal CDL requirements, and then we will cover the farmer exceptions.

    Normal CDL Requirements
    �� A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (not actual) of 26,001 or more pounds, with or without a trailer under 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR);
    �� A combination vehicle with a gross weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds that includes a trailer that has a gross weight rating of more than 10,000 lbs.;
    �� A vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
    �� A vehicle of any size (including passenger cars) transporting hazardous materials in an amount that requires placarding.

    Drug and Alcohol Testing Drivers operating a vehicle that requires a CDL must comply with the drug and alcohol testing requirements (Part 40 and Part 382 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations). The “F” endorsement is a Michigan exception to the CDL requirements that has been recognized by USDOT. As such, the “F” endorsement does not require drug and alcohol testing. A driver that operates within the “F” endorsement provisions is not required to comply with the drug and alcohol testing requirements, even if the driver holds a CDL. However, if a driver operates outside the “F” endorsement provisions, a CDL and drug and alcohol testing are required.

    Having a CDL does not necessarily mandate the individual be in a drug and alcohol testing program. An individual can hold a CDL for years without being in a drug and alcohol testing program if he/she is not driving a CMV. However, when the individual operates a vehicle that requires a CDL (not the “F” endorsement), then the individual must be in a drug and alcohol testing program. For more information about the drug and alcohol testing requirements, contact one of the organizations listed under “Sources.”

    Farmer Exceptions to CDL Requirements
    The following farm vehicles, for intrastate transportation, do not require CDLs:
    �� A single vehicle, regardless of gross weight rating;
    �� A combination vehicle, provided that the power unit has a gross weight rating of less than 26,000 lbs., even if transporting hazardous materials in an amount that requires placarding.

    HOWEVER, to use the above two exceptions, the vehicle must:
    �� Be controlled and operated (not necessarily owned) by the farmer, their employee, or their family member;
    �� Be used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies, or a combination of these items to and from a farm;
    �� Not be used for hire; and
    �� Be operated within 150 miles of the farm.

    The term “farmer” includes businesses that operate farms and their employees. Agribusiness operations, such as co-ops or farm dealers do not meet the farmer exemption for CDLs. Custom harvesters and farmers that contract with other farmers to transport product are not employees of the farmer and must have full CDLs and comply with drug and alcohol testing. A farmer that contracts to transport freight is “hauling for hire” and subject to all of the commercial trucking regulations.
    For example, a farm employee operating a pickup truck and anhydrous ammonia tank (including leased or rented tanks) does not need a CDL (power unit is less than 26,000 lbs. GVWR), but the driver must be at least 21 years old (hazardous materials that requires placarding). A co-op employee or a custom harvester operating a pickup truck and anhydrous ammonia tank needs a CDL with an X endorsement and must be at least 21 years old.

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    "F” Endorsement To operate a combination of vehicles with a power unit that exceeds 26,000 lbs., a farmer must obtain the “F” endorsement. To use the “F” endorsement, however, the farmer must comply with the same four bullets listed above.

    Farmers MUST have a CDL (not the “F” endorsement) when:
    �� They transport hazardous materials in an amount requiring placarding in a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more, or a combination vehicle with a power unit that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more;
    �� They transport any commodity for hire (paid compensation, including custom harvesters; does not include in-kind labor); or
    �� They transport any commodity outside a 150-mile radius from the farm.

    Seasonal Restricted License
    Seasonal Restricted Licenses for Group B or C vehicles are issued from April 2 to June 30 and from September 2 to November 30, OR for not more than 180 days from the date of issue in a 12-month period.
    The Seasonal Restricted License is only valid on routes within 150 miles from the place of business to the farm or farms being served, and may not transport hazardous materials for which placards are required except for:
    �� Diesel fuel in quantities of 1,000 gallons or less;
    �� Liquid fertilizers (including anhydrous ammonia) in quantities of 3,000 gallons or less;
    �� Solid fertilizers that are not transported with any organic substance (e.g., seed, corn, soybeans, etc.)

    The Seasonal Restricted License is not valid for any vehicle that requires an H, N, P, T, or X endorsement, except as provided in the three bullets above.

    Chauffeur License
    The Chauffeur license is a Michigan-specific requirement. It does not apply to farmers or their employees when operating vehicles exclusively in connection with the farming operation (MVC 257.6(3)(a)). Generally speaking, for registration and license purposes, Christmas tree growing operations are farms.

    TRAFFIC REGULATIONS
    Traffic regulations vary from state to state. This is a discussion of some of the Michigan Vehicle Code laws that apply to farmers and agricultural operations. It must be remembered that, although the Michigan Vehicle Code and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations often use the same terms, they may have different definitions for those terms.

    Implements of Husbandry
    An "Implement of Husbandry" is defined as a vehicle which is either a farm tractor, a vehicle designed to be drawn by a farm tractor or an animal, a vehicle which directly harvests farm products, or a vehicle which directly applies fertilizer, spray, or seeds to a farm field (MVC 257.21). See Appendix A at the end of this document for an in-depth discussion of this term.

    A “Farm Tractor” is defined as every motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm implement for drawing plows, mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry (MVC 257.16).

    ”Special Mobile Equipment” is defined as every vehicle not designed or used primarily for transportation of persons or property and incidentally operated or moved over the highways, including farm tractors (MVC 257.62).
    �� A driver's license is not required for the operation of an implement of husbandry (MVC 257.302(b)).

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    �� A license plate is not required on any implement of husbandry (MVC 257.216).

    �� Posted weight limitations on public bridges, causeways, or viaducts do not apply to implements of husbandry being used for a function essential to a farm operation otherwise reasonably inaccessible to vehicles performing the essential agricultural function (MVC 257.631(2)(a)(b)).

    �� Self-propelled farm implements must not be operated on freeways or limited access highways (MVC 257.679a(1)).

    �� An implement of husbandry must be operated so as to minimize the interruption of traffic flow (MVC 257.717(2)).

    �� Implements of husbandry and farm tractors require at least 1 lighted white light, visible from a distance of 500 feet, on the front of the vehicle and one red light to the rear of the vehicle, visible from a distance of 300 feet, at any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise and at any other time when there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet ahead (MVC 257.684(a), 257.695). Farm tractors and implements of husbandry manufactured after January 1, 2007, are required to meet the ASAE lighting standards.

    �� Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblems and additional reflectors are required on any implement of husbandry, farm tractor, and special mobile equipment. Farm tractors and implements of husbandry manufactured after January 1, 2007, are required to meet the ASAE standards for slow moving vehicle emblems. It is also required on every vehicle that has a maximum speed potential of 25 miles an hour operated on public highways. The use of the SMV emblem is limited to the vehicles described in this section and the use on any other vehicle or stationary object is prohibited (MVC 257.688(g)). This section does not mean that all vehicles with an SMV sign are limited to a speed of 25 mph. Each vehicle stands separately: ANY implement of husbandry; ANY farm tractor; ANY special mobile equipment; or ANY vehicle with a maximum speed of 25 mph. It is possible for a vehicle to have license plates and display the SMV sign. There is no requirement to cover SMV signs when being transported on a trailer.

    �� A vehicle towing an implement of husbandry or an implement of husbandry may be equipped with flashing, rotating, or oscillating amber lights. Amber is the only color permitted for this application (MVC 257.698(f)).

    �� A farm tractor or other implement of husbandry does not need to be equipped with a windshield (MVC 257.708a).

    �� The provisions governing size, weight, and load do not apply to an implement of husbandry incidentally moved upon a highway (MVC 257.716(2) and 257.631(2)).

    �� An implement of husbandry must be operated to the right of the center of the roadway; when approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the driver’s view is obstructed within a distance as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction; when the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel; and from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise or any time visibility is substantially diminished due to weather conditions (MVC 257.639, 257.717(2)).

    �� Crawler or track-type tractors with metal or plastic tread (not rubber) must not be operated on roads unless owner has a special permit from state highway commissioner, county road commission or other authority having jurisdiction (MVC 257.725(3) and 257.710).

    �� A person operating an implement of husbandry shall follow all traffic regulations (MVC 257.717(2)).

    �� The bumper and suspension system requirements do not apply to implements of husbandry (MVC 257.710c).

    �� Drinking and driving laws apply to implements of husbandry (MVC 257.625).

    �� A person cannot block, obstruct or interfere with traffic on a roadway with a vehicle, object, device, or their person. This includes dirt, mud, etc. coming off of tires and vehicles that makes travel difficult or dangerous (MVC

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    257.676b).
    �� There is no exception in Federal law from seat belts for implements of husbandry manufactured after 1976.

    �� Section 257.726 allows local jurisdictions to establish truck routes. The statute requires the routes to be posted. Farmers should check regularly with local jurisdictions for changes or additions to local truck routes.

    Tarping and Spilling A person operating a vehicle to transport agricultural commodities is not required to cover the load (MVC 257.720). In addition, the movement of sand, gravel, and dirt in a farm truck or implement of husbandry in the normal operation of a farm does not require a tarp.

    A person operating a vehicle transporting agricultural commodities shall not spill under the Motor Vehicle Code (MVC 257.720), but there is no farm or agricultural exemption in the Michigan Motor Carrier Safety Act that adopts the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Farm vehicles that meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle must comply with the cargo securement regulations of the FMCSR. The regulations are commodity-specific. Refer to Part 393, Sections 393.100-136 for specific requirements. Due to changes in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), it is NOT acceptable to use a secured tarp or canvas to secure sod. However, compliance with the FMCSR is not to be inferred to include that a tarp is required on open-top bulk transportation of agricultural commodities. Appendix B of this document has the working load limit tables from the FMCSR.

    Registration Requirements:
    Farm Plates Farm plates must be used exclusively in connection with the farm or for the transportation of the farmer and the farmer's family, including transportation for personal use (MVC 257.801(c)). The Farm plate may not be used for hire. A farmer may loan his farm-plated vehicle to another farmer for use in that farmer’s farming operation, and not used for hire. A farm plate may be used by a farmer hauling livestock or farm equipment for other farmers for remuneration in kind or in labor, but not for money. Generally speaking, for registration and license purposes, Christmas tree growing operations are farms. Farm plates cannot be used on vehicles transporting products in support of retail sales operations.

    Log Plates
    Log plates must be used exclusively in connection with a logging operation (MVC 257.801(d)). A “wood harvester” includes a person(s) hauling and transporting raw materials in the form produced at the harvest site. A wood harvester may transport logging equipment on a log plate. A log plate may be used for for-hire operations. “Wood harvesting” does not include the transportation of processed lumber, Christmas trees, or processed firewood for a profit-making venture. In addition, log plates are not valid for tree trimming or landscaping operations.

    Milk Plates
    Milk plates must be used exclusively to haul milk from the farm to the first point of delivery (MVC 257.801(d)). Milk plates may be used for for-hire operations.

    Special Farm Plates
    Special Farm Plates must be used exclusively for:
    �� The purpose of gratuitously transporting farm crops or livestock bedding (straw, sawdust, or sand) between the field where produced and the place of storage;
    �� Feed (hay or silage) from on-farm storage to an on-farm feeding site; or fertilizer, seed or spray material from the farm location to the field.
    �� These plates may also be used for transporting crops from the field to a grain elevator (SOS ruling). These plates cannot be used in transportation for hire (“custom harvesting work”) or to transport general supplies.

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    Other Registration Requirements
    Unless using a farm plate, the following commercial motor vehicles must have Elected Gross Vehicle Weight (EGVW) plates:
    �� A pickup truck or truck with an empty weight of more than 8,000 lbs. (with or without a trailer);
    �� A truck under 8,000 lbs. empty weight towing a non-recreational trailer of any size;
    �� Road tractors and truck tractors, unless towing a recreational trailer.

    Size and Weight Laws Because of its complexity, the entire weight law will not be discussed here. However, there are some provisions specific to agricultural operations. Weight laws do not apply to implements of husbandry (MVC 257.716(2) and 257.631(2)), if it is moved incidentally on the highway. There is no exception for vehicles coming out of a farm field or gravel pit; all vehicles, commercial and personal, are subject to Michigan’s size and weight laws. Also, there is no provision that requires a police officer to allow the driver an opportunity to make the load legal prior to taking enforcement action. Vehicles are required to be within legal weights whenever they are being operated on the roadway.

    Federal Length and Width Exemptions (effective 01/01/2006) Section 257.719(9)(b) was amended to adopt Section 658.16 and Appendix D to Part 658 of Title 23 CFR by reference. These provisions of Title 23 specify certain safety and energy conservation devices that are exempt from measurement for length and width.

    “Misload” Fines Although the term is not specifically defined, “misload” weight citations have a separate fine schedule. Section 257.724 provides for a set fine if the court finds “...that the motor vehicle or combination of vehicles would be lawful by a proper distribution of the load upon all the axles of the vehicle or combination of vehicles...” The fine is to be $200 per axle, with a limit of 3 axles, for a maximum “misload” fine of $600. However, if any one axle in the combination is more than 4,000 lbs. overweight, the cents-per-pound schedule in subsection (3) is to be applied. Vehicles that are “overgross” (would not be lawful by a proper distribution of all the axles) are also fined according to subsection (3).

    Lift Axles
    Section 257.724a addresses the weighing of lift axles. Subsection (1) exempts a vehicle equipped with lift axles from all weight laws during the period that the axles are raised to negotiate an intersection, driveway, or other turn, and until the lift axles are fully engaged after the time necessary to negotiate the turn. In addition, subsection (2) requires that prior to weighing a vehicle equipped with air axles that have been raised to negotiate a turn, the officer shall allow the lift axles to be lowered and placed under full operational pressure.

    “Agricultural Commodity” Defined
    This definition only applies to the weight law. Section 257.722(14)(a) defines an agricultural commodity as “…those plants and animals useful to human beings produced by agriculture and includes, but is not limited to, forages and sod crops, grains and feed crops, field crops, dairy and dairy products, poultry and poultry products, cervidae, livestock, including breeding and grazing, equine, fish, and other aquacultural products, bees and bee products, berries, herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, seeds, grasses, nursery stock, mushrooms, fertilizer, livestock bedding, farming equipment, and fuel for agricultural use. The term “agricultural commodities” shall not include trees and timber.”

    “Frost Law” Exception During reduced loading (or “Frost Law”) on local roads (not state highways), a person transporting agricultural commodities (as defined above) may obtain a permit from the county road commission to run normal loading weights. This permit must be applied for not less than 48 hours prior to the movement. The permit must contain the route, date/time, and maximum speed. Milk haulers are also eligible for frost law permits if not operating under a negotiated agreement. (Section 257.722(5))

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    Five-axle Truck Tractor-Semi Trailer Combination (Agricultural Commodities ONLY)
    A five axle truck tractor –semi trailer combination having two consecutive sets of tandems (a “tandem-tandem”) may operate at a gross weight of 17,000 lbs. for each axle of the tandem provided there is no other axle within 9 feet of any axle of the tandem axles. The first and last axles of the consecutive sets of tandems must be at least 36 feet apart and the gross vehicle weight cannot exceed 80,000 lbs. (Section 257.722(4))

    Size Laws
    Section 257.716(2) exempts implements of husbandry (not all farm vehicles) from the height, width, and length laws. However, Section 257.717 restricts the exemption from width. An implement of husbandry cannot be operated left of the center line whenever headlights are required without a permit (from MDOT or the county road commission). Implements of husbandry must be operated in a manner to minimize the interruption of traffic flow. Implements moved on a trailer that are overwidth must have a permit. Implements of husbandry loaded on trailers or semi trailers must obtain a permit if it exceeds the height, width, and length laws. There is no requirement to remove the tires on an implement of husbandry on a trailer when operating under a permit.

    Projecting Loads
    No vehicle may have a load or equipment that projects more than 3’ to the front. No vehicle may have a load or equipment that extends more than 4’ to the rear without having a flag during daylight hours or a red light when vehicle headlights are required.

    Fuel Tax Permits
    Road tractors, trucks, or truck tractors owned by farmers and used in connection with the farming operation and not used for hire are excepted from the fuel tax permit requirement, regardless of whether the vehicle is displaying farm plates or commercial plates. All commercial motor vehicles that operate solely within Michigan are exempt from the fuel tax permit requirement.

    Dyed Diesel Fuel
    It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway with dyed diesel fuel (MCLA 207.1122).Implements of husbandry (not all farm vehicles) are exempt from this prohibition.

    FEDERAL HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REGULATIONS (FHMR)

    The FHMR is found in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 49), Parts 100-180. It applies to all transportation in commerce, including farmers and agricultural retail operations. Michigan has adopted the FHMR into state law by reference, with the exception of Section 173.8 (nonspecification packages for flammable liquids).

    The regulations are too complex and lengthy to discuss here in detail. Below are the basic components that are involved in hazardous materials transportation.
    There are exceptions within various components:
    �� Registration with USDOT (107.600)
    �� Training Requirements (172.700)
    �� Shipping Papers (172.200)
    �� Marking (172.300)
    �� Labeling (172.400)
    �� Placarding (172.500)
    �� Emergency Response Information and Telephone Number (172.600)
    �� Specification Packages (Part 178)
    �� Testing and Inspections of Cargo Tanks (180.400)

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