California hay haulers in limbo with hay securement rules

| 11/2/2007

Just be consistent – that’s the advice hay hauler A.L. Powell of Escalon, CA, has for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the California Highway Patrol in their ongoing fight about which hay securement rules truckers hauling in the state should follow.

Powell has been in the hay hauling business for more than 47 years. He said his company, which consists of six trucks, has been following the FMCSA’s rules for about two years now because it does a lot of interstate hauling. He hasn’t had any problems – yet.

However, some hay haulers have been issued citations by the California Highway Patrol for following the federal regs. The state has not yet adopted the new federal rules and continues to enforce its own regulations.

“I believe the rule should be the same way for everyone; a lot of hay haulers feel the same way I do,” Powell told Land Line. “It’s just too confusing right now for hay haulers to have to follow rules in one state that differ from the rules in another state.”

Before the FMCSA came out with the federal tie-down regulations in 2004, hay haulers used two longitudinal straps from the front to the back of the trailer to secure their loads, which officials with the Commercial Vehicle Section of CHP are in favor of.

Now, FMCSA’s regulations require hay haulers to add lateral straps every 10 feet to prevent shifting.

Powell said he will follow the FMCSA rules until he hears that something official has been decided on as to which rules hay haulers should use.

“It actually would be a lot easier and less time-consuming to use the two-straps for a load, but it’s too confusing when you are hauling in other states,” he said.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer