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New federal regulations could make things difficult for those who operate farm equipment

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Those who use farm equipment may find new federal rules restrictive.
Those who use farm equipment may find new federal rules restrictive.

Changes in federal regulations that affect farm equipment could make things more difficult for producers, a report from Pennsylvania's Tribune-Democrat newspaper said recently.

The new regulations from the government are set to take effect on March 1 and will require that those who use farm equipment have the same regulations as those imposed on interstate trucking firms.

Harold Shaulis, a farmer from Somerset, Pennsylvania, told the paper that doing so would require farmers to get commercial driver's licenses while also logging every trip and adhering to more stringent safety standards.

"All they have to do is exempt agriculture," Shaulis told the paper.

The paper said that if the state ignores the mandates from the government, it could risk losing as much as $80 million in funding for highways and the enforcement of vehicle regulations.

However, efforts are being made on Capitol Hill in order to provide some sort of exemption for farm equipment.

Regardless of whether they end up being exempt from the new rules, farmers should still take the time to operate their machinery in a safe way when on the road. Farmers should make sure that their machines have the proper signage, while motorists should take care when approaching a piece of farm equipment on the road.
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