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Thread: Farm laws and vehicle uses

  1. #11


    Agricultural Operations (Section 173.5)
    Section 173.5 of the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (FHMR), adopted into state law on September 30, 1998, provides relief for farmers transporting certain hazardous materials.

    “Farmer” is defined in §171.8 as “…a person engaged in the production or raising of crops, poultry, or livestock. “Agricultural product” is defined as “…a hazardous material, other than a hazardous waste, whose end use directly supports the production of an agricultural commodity including, but not limited to a fertilizer, pesticide, soil amendment or fuel. An agricultural product is limited to a material in Class 3, 8, or 9, Division 2.1, 2.2, 5.1, or 6.1, or an ORM-D material.”
    Note that there are a number of restrictions in those two definitions. Agricultural products must directly support the farm, and excluded are hazardous wastes, and Classes/Divisions 1 (explosives), 2.3 (poison gases), 4 (flammable solids), 5.2 (organic peroxides), 6.2 (infectious substances), and 7 (radioactives).

    Between Fields of the Same Farm This exception for farmers applies to any agricultural product (see above) except Class 2 (e.g., anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks) that is transported “over local roads between fields of the same farm”. It must be transported by a farmer (see above) who is an intrastate private motor carrier.

    If all of the above provisions are met, the farmer does not have to comply with any of the provisions of the FHMR. For example, taking a tank of gasoline over local roads to run farm equipment on your own fields is excepted from all of the hazardous materials regulations. This exception does not include driving into town to pick up supplies, or other farm-related functions. It is strictly from the farm to the field and between fields.

    This means that any agricultural product (e.g., pesticides, diesel fuel or gasoline) transported by a farmer over local roads between fields of the same farm for farm use is completely out of the regulations. Packages still have to be secured in the vehicle and must be free of leaks. Vehicles still have to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and the Michigan Vehicle Code.

    Within 150 Miles of the Farm This second exception for farmers applies to any agricultural product transported to or from a farm, within 150 miles of the farm. It must be transported by a farmer who is an intrastate private motor carrier.
    The only exceptions in this provision, however, is Emergency Response Information and Telephone Number (Part 172, Subpart G, 172.600) and Training (Part 172, Subpart H, 172.700); as well as specification packaging. All other requirements (e.g., shipping papers, markings, labels, placards, etc.) still apply.

    In addition, this provision has some quantity limitations. One vehicle may not exceed a total of:
    �� 7,300 kg (16,094 lbs.) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, Division 5.1, PG III in a bulk packaging; or
    �� 1900 L (502 gallons) for liquids or gases, or 2,300 kg (5,070 lbs.) for solids, of any other agricultural product.

    A vehicle may have a combination of these products on as long as each amount is not exceeded. For example, one vehicle may have a 300-gallon tote of a liquid pesticide, 2,000 lbs. of a solid pesticide, and 5,000 lbs. of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and still employ this provision.

    If any of these amounts are exceeded, or the 150 miles is exceeded, then all of the FHMR applies and the movement must be in full compliance with the regulations. There are other exceptions to the regulations for operations that do not comply with Section 173.5, such as Materials of the Trade (MOTs; 173.6). Refer to the FHMR for details. Anyone using the provisions of this section must be instructed in the applicable requirements of the FHMR.

  2. #12


    Dispensing Tanks
    Agricultural and construction operations often use dispensing tanks in the back of pick up trucks for gasoline and diesel fuel. There are some restrictions with their use. The requirements discussed here, however, do not apply to a vehicle that is eligible for and complying with the provisions of Section 173.5, Agricultural Operations (above).

    Gasoline in a package with a capacity of more than 8 gallons (see 173.6, Materials of Trade) must be in a USDOT specification container. Most dispensing tanks purchased at local supply stores DO NOT meet this specification. The use of non-USDOT specification tanks for gasoline is illegal.

    Dispensing tanks may be used for diesel fuel with no restriction provided the capacity of the tank does not exceed 119 gallons (450 liters).

    Diesel fuel or gasoline in a tank with a capacity of 119 gallons or more is required to have shipping papers, markings, and placards. Whenever placards are required, a HM endorsement is necessary.

    Nurse Tanks
    Nurse tanks used to transport anhydrous ammonia may NOT use aluminum pressure relief valves. Anhydrous ammonia attacks and corrodes aluminum, and the valve may discharge suddenly and improperly. Owners of nurse tanks should inspect their tanks to ensure that aluminum safety devices are not present.

    Nurse tanks may not be loaded to a filling density greater than 56%. Filling density is NOT the same as volume. The tank must be secured to a farm wagon and have a capacity of no more than 3,000 gallons.

    The tank must be painted white or aluminum. The tank must be marked with the proper shipping name (anhydrous ammonia) on all four sides; the identification number (1005) on the placards or orange panels on all four sides; the words “Inhalation Hazard” on two opposing sides; and 2.2 (nonflammable gas) placards on all four sides. There is an exception to having a placard on the end of a nurse tank that is equipped with valves, fittings, regulators, or gauges that prevent the placement of the placard.

    Safety chains, a Slow Moving Vehicle sign, and retroreflective tape are required. A pick up truck may only tow one nurse tank; a farm tractor may tow two nurse tanks. Also, see the sections on Age of Drivers and CDLs to ensure compliance with driver qualification regulations.

    Security Plan
    For farmers not exempted under the Agricultural Operations provision discussed above, a security plan must be developed for certain hazardous materials, except that transportation activities of a farmer who generates less than $500,000 annually in gross receipts from the sale of agricultural commodities or products, are not subject to the security plan requirements if such activities are:

    1. Conducted by highway or rail;
    2. In direct support of their farming operations;
    3. Conducted within a 150-mile radius of those operations.

    Refer to Section 172.800 for specific requirements.

  3. #13



    Certain hazardous materials transportation incidents that occur on a public roadway must be reported to the Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division. A MCD Hazardous Materials Investigator can be contacted 24 hours a day by calling the Operations Desk at 517-336-6604.

    DEQ Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS), 24 hours 800-292-4706

    MDA Agriculture Pollution Emergency Hotline, 24 hours 800-405-0101

  4. #14



    The most important question to consider when determining if a vehicle is an implement is “How is it being used?”

    Is it being used for anything listed in the definition of an implement of husbandry? An implement of husbandry is defined in the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code (257.21) as:
    • A farm tractor;
    • A vehicle designed to be drawn by a farm tractor or animal;
    • A vehicle which directly harvests farm products; or
    • A vehicle which directly applies fertilizer, spray, seeds to a farm field.

    Note the second bullet uses the word “designed,” meaning the original design must have intended the vehicle to be drawn by a farm tractor or animal. Also note the last two bullets use the word “directly,” but not “designed.” It’s also important to realize that a farm tractor is always an implement of husbandry, by definition.

    A vehicle can be both an implement of husbandry and a motor vehicle, but not at the same time. It's either being used as a vehicle, or it's being used as an implement of husbandry. Many implements are built on truck frames, and some even retain the truck cab. Some even can be dual use vehicles.

    For example, a dump truck can be fitted with a spreader. When traveling to and from a farm field to use as a spreader, the vehicle is an implement of husbandry. When traveling to and from a farm to just dump lime in a corner of the field to be spread later by another device, then the vehicle is a dump truck.

    Other examples include hay wagons and gravity boxes. If a hay wagon is used to gather product and then transport it to the barn, it’s an implement (“directly harvests farm products”). If a hay wagon is transporting stored product from a barn to an elevator by a pickup truck, it’s a trailer. The same would apply to a gravity box.

    The problem that occurs is when the vehicle is being transported empty between locations or transported in the off-season for storage, service, or winterizing. Provided that the driver can explain that the vehicle is being moved only for storage, etc., the vehicle does not lose its implement of husbandry designation. Using these vehicles to pick up supplies or transporting materials outside of the above listed bullets would require license plates.

    Additionally, if an implement of husbandry is towing a trailer, the trailer is also generally considered to be an implement of husbandry. Again, the final determination depends upon how it is being used at the time.

    Another issue to keep in mind is the size and weight laws. Implements of husbandry are exempt from size and weight (257.716(2)), but when operated as a vehicle requiring registration, compliance with the size and weight laws are mandatory.

    Any vehicle that is being used – at the time – to directly harvest product or apply material can be an implement of husbandry. If it does not meet one of the above bullets – at the time a police officer encounters it – then it is a motor vehicle.

    The officer is going to ask how it is being used and what it is being used for. If the driver indicates it is being used as an implement of husbandry, it will be subject to all of those requirements, including an SMV sign and retroreflective tape (see “TRAFFIC REGULATIONS”). If it's being used as a motor vehicle, it must comply with all the laws applicable to motor vehicles.

  5. #15



    Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Part 393 §393.108 How is the working load limit of a tiedown, or the load restraining value of a friction mat, determined?

    (a) The working load limit (WLL) of a tiedown, associated connector or attachment mechanism is the lowest working load limit of any of its components (including tensioner), or the working load limit of the anchor points to which it is attached, whichever is less.

    (b) The working load limits of tiedowns may be determined by using either the tiedown manufacturer's markings or by using the tables in this section. The working load limits listed in the tables are to be used when the tiedown material is not marked by the manufacturer with the working load limit. Tiedown materials which are marked by the manufacturer with working load limits that differ from the tables, shall be considered to have a working load limit equal to the value for which they are marked.

    (c) Synthetic cordage (e.g., nylon, polypropylene, polyester) which is not marked or labeled to enable identification of its composition or working load limit shall be considered to have a working load limit equal to that for polypropylene fiber rope.

    (d) Welded steel chain which is not marked or labeled to enable identification of its grade or working load limit shall be considered to have a working load limit equal to that for grade 30 proof coil chain.

    (e)(1) Wire rope which is not marked by the manufacturer with a working load limit shall be considered to have a working load limit equal to one-fourth of the nominal strength listed in the Wire Rope Users Manual.

    (e)(2) Wire which is not marked or labeled to enable identification of its construction type shall be considered to have a working load limit equal to that for 6 x 37, fiber core wire rope.

    (f) Manila rope which is not marked by the manufacturer with a working load limit shall be considered to have a working load limit based on its diameter as provided in the tables of working load limits.

    (g) Friction mats which are not marked or rated by the manufacturer shall be considered to provide resistance to horizontal movement equal to 50 percent of the weight placed on the mat.

  6. #16

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