rule being proposed by the federal
Department of Transportation would
require farmers to get commercial
Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, which is a part of
DOT, wants to adopt standards that
would reclassify all farm vehicles
and implements as Commercial Motor
Vehicles, officials said. Likewise,
the proposal, if adopted, would
require all farmers and everyone on
the farm who operates any of the
equipment to obtain a CDL, they
proposed rule change would mean that
anyone who drives a tractor or
operates any piece of motorized
farming equipment would be required
to pass the same tests and complete
the same detailed forms
and logs required of semi-tractor
would keep logs of information
including hours worked and miles
traveled. Vehicles would be required
to display DOT numbers. A CDL in
Virginia costs $64 for eight years,
or $8 per year, not including the
cost of an instructional class and
the written test.
DOT reclassifies farm vehicles and
implements as commercial vehicles,
the federal government will have
regulatory control over the nation’s
farm workers, estimated at over
800,000, by requiring them to have
commercial drivers licenses.
possibility worries county farmers
and others in Halifax County
interested in agriculture.
a CDL, but very few farmers have
one,” said Nathalie farmer Ronnie
Waller. “This is just another
bureaucratic hurdle for the farmer.
hard enough fighting Mother Nature,
insects and all…now we have to fight
the federal government,” he added.
“We’re getting more rammed down our
throats, and I could see
repercussions across the nation.
This move is another inane gesture
in my opinion,” Waller concluded.
Pearce, Halifax County Soil and
Water Conservation district manager,
agrees with Waller.
absurd, we’re being regulated out of
business,” Pearce said. “I can see
where you need to take precautions
if you take these things on the
said driving a tractor on a road is
not like driving a semi-tractor
trailer on the highway.
passes, there will be a lot of
citations written,” he said. “It’ll
create a financial burden on the
farm workers are migrant workers,
and they don’t have drivers
licenses,” he said.
this thing passes, it would be
detrimental to the agriculture
business,” said Jason Fisher,
Halifax County Extension agent for
Forestry and Natural Resources.
“They’re going to get a bigger fight
from other places.
would be stifling to agriculture,”
he said. “For the producers here,
we’re looking to do things to help
them maintain their farms. CDLs
would mean additional costs to the
Crowder, Halifax County Farm Bureau
president, agrees with Fisher.
think it’s absurd,” he said. “It’s
just more federal bureaucracy and
another infringement on small
said farm tractors and other
machinery on county roads is a
common sight in most rural areas.
you live in a rural community seeing
farm equipment on the road is just
something that’s a part of life,” he
said. “If this thing passes, it will
create more strain on small
business, and that’s what farmers
are. It will affect their bottom
line. Call your congressman and
senators,” he concluded.