Monterey County Farm Bureau

Tie-Down Exemption

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a five-year exemption to the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of American Trucking Associations, clearing a variety of alternative methods to secure agricultural commodities. The exemption authorizes agriculture haulers nationwide to use the alternative methods to secure commodities transported in wood and plastic boxes, bins and large fiberglass tubs, and hay, straw and cotton bales, which is what the conference proposed to the federal agency. FMCSA’s exemption is valid from April 15, 2019, through April 15, 2024.

In 2007, FMCSA along with the California Farm Bureau, the California Trucking Association and other groups conducted a series of tests and research to show alternative methods of tying down different agricultural products in tubs and bins. Since roughly 2008, agriculture haulers in California have been operating under an exemption granted by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that allows for alternate securement methods and required haulers to submit certain information to CHP including a monthly report identifying any accidents or loss of cargo.

CHP has informed CFBF that the agency will no longer require agricultural haulers to submit a letter of approval authorizing the use of the exemption nor the monthly reporting documents. The agency will be developing a CHP Bulletin in the next several weeks indicating the changes to the program.