Transporting Agricultural Products

​Agricultural Hauler Exemption Program

The Agricultural Hauler Exemption Program is offered to those motor carriers who have historically used corner irons and cables to secure loads of agricultural products in bins, boxes, and tubs to the first point of processing or packing (see below).  This exemption is available only to carriers meeting the following criteria:

    • The carrier holds a valid Motor Carrier of Property Permit, issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

    • The carrier's vehicles are not capable of utilizing lateral securement straps.

    • A copy of the California Highway Patrol exemption letter and current extension letter must be carried in vehicles when utilizing this exemption.

    • Carriers must comply with all other conditions outlined in the exemption letter, including  the monthly reporting requirements.

To request permission to operate under this exemption, download and submit the request form below.  This exemption will expire on April 30, 2019.

First Point of Processing

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

Securement of Square Bales of Hay and Straw

Although the transportation of square bales of hay and straw are not subject to the requirements of the Agricultural Hauler Exemption Program,  they are subject to specific cargo securement methods.  Pursuant to Section 34500.3  of the California Vehicle Code, cargo carried upon a commercial vehicle must be secured in conformance with the requirements of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 393, Subpart I - Protection Against Shifting and Falling Cargo.

On July 7, 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) 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 technica​l 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 Cargo Securement Web page.


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