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Farm plates

27213 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Skinner Apiaries
Hey folks,
I've been thinking about getting farm plates for my truck. I was wondering about some pros and cons. what benefits and restrictions i might run into.
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in Washington state you can only go 18-20 miles from the address on the registration -

thats one con

the pro is you dont have to lic every again
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier folks - DOT) defines Farm truck as not traveling more than 150 mile radius of farm and carrying own property. Guess a state can go even lower though. Sounds like several on here go a good bit further than 150 miles without a problem - but that might be luck.
Yeah thats part of what confuses me i've seen farms tags on long haul trucks
Yea - it confuses me too - but the best I can tell from doing a little reading and talking to some scale house sargents - If you are hauling your own property and not more than 150 miles from the farm you could be driving an 18 wheeler loaded with 80,000 lbs. An I gather some do just that - with only minor hassles to contend with. Nobody wants to stop a bee truck.
good point -- they most likey will look the other way but...... they know you come home empty and you might be fair game then -
ive have considered it myself but havent moved towards the DMV with my plates

my work is only 3 miles away ..... wonder if i can get a farm plate for my Mustang ???? that would be funny hahahaha

Almost everything posted so far in this thread is complete mis-information.
It is late and I'm tired so I will let you all sort out the details.
Start here:

The FMCSA does not set statewide farm plate rules. Each state has it's own rules.
They do, however have rules for intrastate commerce and interstate comerce related to type of trucks, weight, length, doubles, etc...
Be aware that as beekeepers, we are in a VERY exclusive category, in that we are exempt from "driver qualification" (pain in the butt) rules.
Read this carefully:

You need to know and understand what you are doing.
Call your states DOT office and set up your Federal Motor Authority.
This isn't something one chit-chats out on a message board.
Get your DOT number. You will meet with the FMCSA for an audit of what you have going on. Then you will know EXACTLY what you need to do.

I have farm plates and can travel the entire continent.
What I can haul, how much I can haul, what permits are necissary, a state by state issue.
This subject is not like a bee meeting, "Should I use queen excluders or not?"
Set up your meeting with DOT and get the facts.

Hope this helps.
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Under Michigan law the farm plate can go anywhere. Unless you have michigan farm drivers licence then you are restriced to 150 miles, or if you have a special farm plate.

I would call the state and ask for a copy of the LAW. Don't ask questions as they rarely have any idea what they are talking about. Most people who answer the phone don't even have a degree, (like most people that give legal advise).
§391.2 General exemptions. (a) Farm custom operation. The rules in this part do not apply to a driver who drives a commercial motor vehicle controlled and operated by a person engaged in custom-harvesting operations, if the commercial motor vehicle is used to—

(a)(1) Transport farm machinery, supplies, or both, to or from a farm for custom-harvesting operations on a farm; or

(a)(2) Transport custom-harvested crops to storage or market.

(b) Apiarian industries. The rules in this part do not apply to a driver who is operating a commercial motor vehicle controlled and operated by a beekeeper engaged in the seasonal transportation of bees.

(c) Certain farm vehicle drivers. The rules in this part do not apply to a farm vehicle driver except a farm vehicle driver who drives an articulated (combination) commercial motor vehicle as defined in §390.5. (For limited exemptions for farm vehicle drivers of articulated commercial motor vehicles see §391.67.)

I read this post and have been wondering about our exemption hauling bees for sometime now. So I decided to call our regonal office in Atlanta to see what they said. My question was with the excemption for beekeepers would that apply only to our loads of live bees. And they stick us when we return with supers or going home empty. According to the guy I talked to he says we would be clear as we are beekeepers and don't haul stuff not beekeeping related. I have a copy of the handbook in my truck that can be found at most any truck stop for the DOT guys if needed. I would also think if you beat the DOT guy on that point you best have everything else in order. Because there is nothing worse than a mad cop with a ticket book and gun he dosn't get shot or write in. Point is we beat them there they'll find another violation they can get us on.
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Re: Myth-Information

Almost everything posted so far in this thread is complete mis-information.
It is late and I'm tired so I will let you all sort out the details.
Start here:

Harry .[/LEFT]
Harry - some of us just try to do the best we can. With no intention to misinform. I agree with everything you say except one thing. If I am from GA. and have Farm Tags on my loaded Bee truck driving down Hwy 95 in NC, more than 150 mi radius from the farm - NC HiWay patrol says I am in big time trouble. So far I have spoken to a representative of FMCSA, the NC Highway Patrol - both quote the 150 mile rule for Farm Plates. I have my DOT number - I have the letter from the FMCSA and await my safety inspection - so far I see nothing about an audit? I understand about the Apiarian Exemption and how it gets us out of part 391 - but the Farm Truck definition is not in part 391. Farm plates are much cheaper than plates for CMVs so sure would like to get a handle on those rules. I know some of you guys drive the continent.
I have farm tags on my Freightliner, whick I drive from Ky to Fl and and also from Fl/Ky to Wi. Farm tags are not a problem. Problem is DOT law is not cut in stone....ask ten DOT officers and get ten differant opinions. ALl is open to interpetation. A beek friend of mine has a letter from a Fl DOT official that states he is exempt for all dot number, inspections, everything. He runs from Michigan to Florida and has for three years with no DOt, ect, just shows the letter and off he goes. If you read the rules..seems that is right although I'm sure a Barney Fife will throw a fit someday!
In NY "Farm" plates, plates that actually have the word "FARM" on them, have a number of restrictions. You can only drive 75 miles from your home farm, unless you are going to another farm that you own. I don't think that you can drive them out of the state.

I have an "Agricultural" plate on my F-450 Superduty Ford. I can go wherever I wish. But the truck isn't considered "Commercial" and therefrore doesn't have the same restrictions that "Commercial Vehicles" have. I think "Commercial" registration costs more. Though I am not sure about that.
You know the bottom line here, is if you're whining about spending a few hundred dollars, when it could end with 4 digit tickets and dead/burned loads you are a fool. Period. Just pay for the weighted tags, bite the 3 or 400 bucks, and get on with it. The exemptions get us out of alot of CDL rules, but still stick us with paying a lot of road tax. Need proof? Ride with more than 26k lbs and no IFTA tags.
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