Transporting Agricultural Products

​Agricultural Hauler Exemption Program


Effective April 15, 2019, through April 15, 2024, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a five-year exemption from the shifting and falling cargo regulations, as it pertains to the equivalent means of securement, as defined in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 393.100.  This exemption applies to the use of alternate methods for the securement of agricultural commodities transported in wood and plastic boxes; bins and large fiberglass tubs; as well as to hay, straw, and cotton bales that are grouped together into large singular units.

This exemption is only valid for the transportation of agricultural products from the field to the first point of processing or packing.  This does not preclude incidental handling of the product, prior to transportation, such as: 

    • Cleaning
    • Spraying
    • Inspecting and/or separating
    • Temporarily storing (cold or otherwise)
    • Removal of portions not intended for the consumer (roots, ends, leaves, etc.); or
    • Other handling of a product in a manner which does not substantially change the product from its original condition

Because of the published FMCSA exemption, agriculture carriers are no longer required to request permission from the California Highway Patrol to operate under the exemption.

On July 7, 2008, the FMCSA provided guidance in a document titled, "Technical Review of Industry Cargo Securement Practices for Baled Hay and Straw" (PDF).  Ultimately, the FMCSA determined the securement methods outlined in the technical review are considered to meet the equivalent means of securement provision of Section 393.102(c) of Title 49 CFR.  Carriers should be familiar with the content of the technical review to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations and to maintain the highest level of transportation safety.

Additional guidance is also available on the FMCSA Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation Web page External link .



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