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New Guide Aids Truckers During Planting, Harvest Seasons

A new, free guide for managers from the American Trucking Associations' Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference will help make truck transport of agricultural products safer this spring and summer. AFTC's 27-page "Manager's Guide to Safe Trucking During Agricultural Planting and Harvest Season" is intended for truck drivers and their managers in the agricultural industry, and it begins with a discussion of the agricultural exemption to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's hours of service regulations.

The exemption applies only to transport of farm supplies to a farm during planting season, to agricultural commodities going from a field to the first point of processing during harvest season, and to livestock or livestock feed, according to the guide.

"Promoting safety is important in all agricultural operations but especially critical in the case of truck driving," said Russell Laird, executive director of AFTC. "Our members are glad to share their expertise and best practices with the whole agricultural industry to give them practical strategies they can implement to help improve safety."

"Agricultural seasons often do not comply with exact schedules," Laird said. "Weather determines when and how fast you move, so farmers need work flexibility to get their crops in and out of the fields."

The guide discusses hiring and management of drivers, monitoring and preventing fatigue among drivers, safety as the top priority of truck operations, and how the concept of corporate social responsibility fuels companies' safety, health, and environmental efforts. An example cited in the guide is a company that gives quarterly and annual safety bonuses that can top $1,000 per year.

ATA is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. For information, visit this site.

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