FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) submitted comments Monday to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding proposed regulatory guidance on the applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSA) to operators of certain farm vehicles and off-road agricultural equipment.
“Personal and commercial transportation is a critical component to the cattle industry. Without a cost effective, efficient, and diverse way to transport cattle, the cattle industry would not be what it is today,” said Joe Parker, Jr., rancher and president of TSCRA. “With the recent natural disasters like drought and wildfires devastating Texas and Oklahoma, transportation has become even more important to move cattle, feed, and equipment across county and/or state lines.”
Reforming transportation regulations by raising truck weight limits on interstate highways and removing the 150 mile restriction on agricultural equipment would benefit cattle producers. TSCRA supports DOT giving states the option to raise truck weight limits on interstate highways from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds as long as trucks include an additional axle which increases braking capacity, improves fuel efficiency, and reduces overall wear on roads and bridges.
Under current law ranchers operating their vehicles within a radius of 150 miles are not required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Often times during natural disasters ranchers need to travel greater distances and the 150 mile radius is impractical. TSCRA supports removing the 150 mile restriction.
Click here to read TSCRA’s comments.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 134-year-old trade organization. As the largest and oldest livestock association in Texas, TSCRA represents more than 15,000 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 75.9 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement and livestock inspection services, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry news and information, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.