For several years, the U.S. Custom Harvesters (USCHI) had lobbied for legislation that would allow producers and custom harvesters with Class A CDLs to haul up to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel without having to obtain a Hazardous Material (HM) endorsement.With a little help from AEM, an important industry ally scored a key win that will make it easier and faster to refuel large ag equipment in the field.
Federal law only allowed Class A CDL holders to haul 118 gallons of fuel without an HM endorsement, which can be costly and time-consuming to obtain. Many large combines and cotton pickers have fuel tank capacities of 250 gallons or more and must be refueled daily.
The issue was key for both USCHI and AEM because its resolution would make custom harvesters more efficient and profitable while helping to drive equipment purchases.
AEM Offers Assistance
Because USCHI doesn’t have a permanent Washington office, AEM assisted in raising the issue’s profile in Congress and with other ag groups. AEM also offered strategic advice on how to take the issue to the next level, and recommended a transportation lobbying firm to give the matter the attention it needed.
As a result, the needed change was included in the recently passed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, or highway bill.
“USCHI had a specific issue that affected them and engaged in a narrowly defined path to have that issue fixed by Congress,” said Nick Tindall, AEM director, government affairs. “Lawmakers heard their concern and moved to correct the matter. Representative democracy worked.”
For further information, contact Nick Tindall in AEM’s Washington, D.C., office (email@example.com, tel: 202-898-9064).