081214 js 0553RSPRINGFIELD - Legislation helping Illinois farmers was signed into law yesterday afternoon at the Illinois State Fair. The new law will allow farmers to use a wider range of vehicles for work without having to deal with CDL, medical card and hours of service restrictions.

Sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), smaller trucks under 12,000 pounds with drivers possessing only a B or D license, no longer just trucks 16,000 pounds and heavier, may now be designated as covered farm vehicles when pulling a farm-plated trailer.

With the “covered farm vehicle” designation applying to more vehicles, farmers can now simply focus on crops and not on more trucking rules and regulations.

“Like many working men and women, ‘efficiency’ and ‘hard work’ are ideals that farmers live by,” Hutchinson said. “Through this new law, the lives of some of the hardest working Illinoisans will be made a little easier now that there is more freedom in farm vehicle use.”

The designation only costs $10, and will provide farmers who use smaller vehicles the same covered farm vehicle exemptions enjoyed by those working with larger vehicles. Plus, pick-up trucks – when not pulling a trailer – can still be used for personal use, not only tasks restricted to agriculture.

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