Harrisburg, Pa. – Farmers could haul heavy loads with a common Class C driver's license under a bill introduced on Friday in the Senate.
S.B. 725 clarifies Act 170, which exempts farmers from commercial driver's license requirements when operating farm vehicles or combinations over 26,000 pounds.
Sen. Camera Bartolotta said that the legislative intent of Act 170 was to ease regulatory burdens on farmers by allowing them to use a common Class C driver's license to haul loads.
"Perhaps a typical scenario envisioned by the legislation is a farmer hauling a load of grain to market—without needing to meet all the regulations that come with a CDL," Sen. Bartolotta said.
But in practice, Pennsylvania State Police is still citing farmers who operate heavy farm vehicles with a Class C driver's license, according to Bartolotta.
"...it appears that the PSP is interpreting this law to require that farmers operating those types of vehicles need a non-commercial Class A driver’s license...This clearly goes against the legislative intent of Act 170, which was meant to reduce additional regulatory burdens on farmers," Bartolotta said in the bill's memo.
Bartolotta's bill amends Title 75 to explicitly permit Class C-licensed drivers to operate farm vehicles.
Her bill doesn't alter the 150 air-mile limitation imposed by current law.
The following Republican lawmakers joined Bartolotta to co-sponsor her bill: Sens. Scott Martin, Bob Mensch, Judy Ward, Patrick Stefano, David Argall and Elder Vogel.