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Iowa Expands Operation Area for Covered Farm Vehicles

October 24, 2012
By: Nate Birt, Top Producer Deputy Managing Editor google + 

People operating covered farm vehicles in Iowa can now travel farther from their home farm and qualify for other exemptions under federal exemptions adopted this month by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Vehicles weighing less than 26,000 pounds and fulfilling other criteria can now operate anywhere in Iowa. They previously had to stay within a 150 air-mile radius of the home farm.

Meanwhile, operators of those vehicles are exempt from holding a commercial driver’s license; enrolling in a company-based controlled substance and alcohol testing program; getting a physical exam or holding a medical examiner’s certificate; and abiding by hours-of-service regulations, Iowa DOT says. Only the commercial driver’s license exemption existed earlier.

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The changes result from the Moving Ahead for the Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), a bill President Barack Obama signed into law July 6.

To be considered a covered farm vehicle, equipment must be operated by a farm owner, employee or family member to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to and from a farm, Iowa DOT says. It must also qualify as a commercial motor vehicle, meaning it is self-propelled or towed and meets specified weight requirements.

So far, only Missouri and Minnesota have agreed to immediately honor the exemptions for Iowa farmers.

Information about additional stipulations and an application for obtaining covered farm vehicle status is available by going to the Iowa DOT website. Or watch a video explaining MAP-21, then go to the federal government’s MAP-21 website for additional documentation
 

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