Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1026 today, a bipartisan bill that will make it easier for farmers, custom harvesters, and agricultural producers to safely transport the fuel they need for a day of field work. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, joined Neugebauer in introducing the bill. In the Senate, a companion bill was introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
"Farmers know that when it comes time to plant or harvest a crop, every minute matters. But current fuel transport restrictions on certain drivers force them to take multiple trips to the fuel station just to fill up their equipment. That adds time and money that they can't afford." Neugebauer explained.
Currently, Class A commercial drivers can only haul up to 119 gallons of fuel unless they have a hazardous materials endorsement, which is costly and time-consuming to obtain. There is already an exemption to these requirements for Class B commercial drivers. H.R. 1026 simply broadens that exemption to Class A drivers, who are more stringently tested.
"This bill is a common sense update that reflects the needs of modern agriculture," Neugebauer said. "It simply broadens an existing exemption to federal laws so that producers can safely transport up to 1,000 gallons of fuel for their combines, harvesters, and other large equipment."
He continued, "This legislation is a safe, responsible solution that reduces federal burdens on the people who feed and clothe America, and I look forward to bipartisan support in Congress."
The bill enjoys widespread support from organizations including the Agricultural & Food Transporters Conference, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, National Sorghum Producers, and U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc.