Month: February 2021

USDA Issues New Guidance For Hemp Transportation

USDA-Issues-New-Guidance-for-Hemp-Transportation

Truck drivers can’t seem to get a clear answer on whether or not  transporting hemp across state lines is legal? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued guidance on this topic, rather than a law. The USDA’s recent guidance states that nothing in the 2018 Farm Bill (the bill that hemp growers currently operate under) prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp. This is to say that truck drivers can indeed haul hemp for the purpose of interstate commerce.

The USDA, however, says that it lacks the authority to issue a true regulation that thoroughly protects truck drivers who haul hemp. What does that mean for you? Truck drivers should always have their paperwork, including the THC level test results for the hemp products they are hauling, with them in the event that they are pulled over and/or inspected.

Although the USDA supports the interstate transportation of legal hemp, it has yet to provide official shipping documents that could help truck drivers avoid being subject to detention by law enforcement when crossing state lines.

“At this time, the USDA recommends that transporters carry a copy of the producer’s license or authorization, as well as any other information the governing state or Indian tribe recommends or requires that will validate that the transporter is transporting legally grown hemp,” the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service said in a Jan. 19 Federal Register post. “the USDA is not adding transportation paperwork requirements to this rule because it does not have jurisdiction over common carriers or other types of transporters.”

Since the USDA is not providing the official paperwork, they suggest that truck drivers carry legal documentation before crossing state lines with hemp products. These can include:

  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency laboratory test result (or other THC content test results)
  • Contact information of the load’s buyer and seller
  • A copy of the hemp grower/producer’s license
  • An invoice or bill of lading

Though there is a lack of USDA documents for the transport of hemp, what is clear is that truck drivers can legally transport hemp as long as it is absent of high levels of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol (the part that gets users high). Cannabis with a THC level exceeding 0.3% is considered marijuana, which remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance regulated by DEA.

The interstate transport of hemp is legal, but, due to the lack of official documentation from the USDA (or the Department of Transportation,) there are still potential risks for truck drivers hauling hemp.

Since hemp is so similar looking and can even smell like THC-laden marijuana, it is understandable from law enforcement’s point of view why a load of hemp could be delayed or seized in order to test it for THC levels.

A law enforcement officer who pulls over a truck driver hauling hemp does not currently have a way to test for THC content like a lab does. That is why it is crucial to get ahead of any suspicion and carry all the paperwork you have access to in order to prove the legality of your load as we await further provisions from the USDA.

 

Cold Weather Accessories For Your Commercial Truck

cold-weather-accessories

When harsh winter weather is expected, it can be challenging for drivers that don’t have the proper cold weather accessories for their truck. With a little preparation you can ensure that you stay safe and comfortable wherever you’re driving. We’ve compiled four of the best products for winter driving that truck drivers everywhere should keep at hand.

  1. Winterfront

As a truck driver, it’s in the job description to get your cargo where it needs to be on time. Regardless of the season you’re in.  During cold weather, a winter front will not make your truck start any better.  It will help increase engine temperature while your truck idles or drives down the road by blocking cold air from getting to your engine. It allows your engine to operate at a normal temperature and will make your heater more effective as well.

  1. Bunk Warmer

Sometimes you’ll have to spend  the night in the cab of your truck. There are few things worse than being overly cold while trying to sleep and a bunk warmer can help. The traditional method is to leave your engine running all night as you sleep, but that is both noisy and expensive. A bunk warmer is far more efficient. It is essentially an electric blanket that’s specifically designed for truck cab beds. A simple purchase like this will save money in the long run and the bunk warmer allows you to sleep warmly and comfortably.

  1. AutoSock or Tire Chains

There’s nothing worse than being stuck and having to wait for help. You can take care of your own truck (and yourself) by investing in something to help your tires make it through snow and ice. Especially when you have been parked overnight, you can use either AutoSocks or tire chains to get traction in the snow and ice. Either of these two can be game changers that put you ahead of your unprepared competitors as you enter into snow and icy conditions.

  1. Reflective Coat

More than anything, you need to keep yourself safe. Winter conditions can severely limit visibility. During a snowstorm, blizzard conditions, or even just a dark and cold night, it can be difficult for others to see you. If you’ve been stuck on the side of the road without proper safety equipment, you’ll know how scary it can be. Be prepared and have a reflective coat in your cab in case you need it. Insulated reflective coats also double as much needed sources of warmth.

Investing in the above accessories can help make your life easier, should you encounter trying winter conditions. You can keep safe and warm with a little pre-planning. The cold weather makes truck driving harder, but it doesn’t have to make it impossible. Get these  accessories sooner than later and make your life easier during the cold weather.