Custom harvesters continue to ask Congress for a legislative fix that will allow them to haul more diesel fuel on Class A Commercial Drivers Licenses – without having to request Hazardous Material (HazMat) endorsements.

Today, operators with Class A drivers licenses can only haul up to 119 gallons of fuel at a time, says Kent Braathen, U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. (USCHI) vice president out of Grand Forks, ND.

His organization would like to see that number increased to up to 1,000 gallons before an endorsement is required. (See “Hauling Diesel Fuel Without HazMats.”)

The fuel tank issue is just one example of regulatory overreach, says Tracy Zeorian, USCHI president. Custom harvesting is a seasonal business, she notes, and harvesters face a shortage of available employees. Labor Department rules have made that workforce challenge more difficult.

“When the harvesters get frustrated enough with the rules and regulations, because of the employees (and) because of the larger fuel tanks, it’s going to drive a lot of people to the point where they just aren’t going to mess with it anymore; it’ll just be easier to quit,” says Zeorian. “That will put the farmer and producer into a whole different issue, because they’ll have to figure out what to do to try replace the ones that aren’t out there anymore.”

With another harvest season ahead, USCHI seeks action on these legislative priorities, she says.

For more about USCHI, visit www.uschi.com.