Several weeks ago, contract haulers of farm equipment in the Sacramento Valley reported enforcement actions when moving combines. At issue was the interpretation of the vehicle code that allows farmers to haul their own equipment without a permit but not contract haulers. Shortly thereafter, the movement of stompers was impacted due to their oversized width. CHP indicated that a CHP escort was needed to move the equipment. Booking an escort is about two weeks out and comes at a cost of $1,500.
We immediately engaged Louie Brown with Kahn, Soares & Conway, who worked on the same issues in the San Joaquin Valley several years ago. He has contacted the Governor’s office, Caltrans and is now in contact with the CHP Commissioner’s office. Our focus is allowing equipment movement this year and then fix the vehicle code next year or understand needed modifications to stompers.
Currently, combine movement can be addressed with a permit. We are working on additional methods of compliance and should have more to report next week.
Stomper movement is a more difficult issue. We have a number of calls out and will continue to press the need to find a reasonable path forward to get through this season. Our goal is to have additional information on stomper movement next week.
As in the San Joaquin Valley, new staff and leadership at CHP does not have the institutional memory of past discussions and agreement on moving our highly specialized equipment. We are working to provide that background as they implement their current interpretation of the law.
For more information, please contact CRC CEO Tim Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 704-6556.