At Genera Energy Inc. a key factor in our proprietary Supply ASSURE™ system is the safe and efficient transportation of the biomass energy crop.  Thousands of tons of biomass will be transported along state and federal highways each year.

There are three basic areas when reviewing commercial motor vehicle (CMV) regulations:  state laws, federal laws and safety regulations.  These are intended to ensure safety for drivers as well as the public.  It is important to know and understand what laws effect the transportation of biomass because failure to comply may be costly. The U.S. Department of Transportation under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) governs the federal highways.  The primary focus of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks.  Regulations govern the driver, the truck weight, length and width and the materials being transported.

First and foremost you should ensure that each driver has the proper commercial driver’s license.  Federal law requires all drivers of a CMV in interstate commerce to hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  The minimum age to apply for a CDL is 21 years of age.  Some states allow drivers 18 to 20 years of age to apply for a CDL, but that is valid only within the driver’s state of residence until the age of 21 at which time the license may convert to a 50 state CDL.  Most CDL require proof that they are physically fit to drive.  A medical certificate must be filled out by a medical professional with a copy provided to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.  An employer may be subject to penalties up to $10,000 for knowingly permitting a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL.

Feedstock like switchgrass is generally transported from the farm to a storage or processing facility in bales on flat bed trailers.  Under the FMCSA, cargo must be firmly immobilized on the carrier wi