To help haul in this year's harvest, Governor Terry Branstad on Friday signed a proclamation allowing the transportation of overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover on state highways in Iowa. The proclamation took effect on September 27, 2013 and expires after 60 days.
The 2013 Harvest Weight Proclamation specifically increases the weight allowable for shipment of corn, soybeans, hay, straw and stover by 12.5% per axle (up to a maximum of 90,000 pounds) without the need for a trucker or farmer to get an oversize or overweight permit. The increased weight tolerance does not apply to posted roads or bridges, nor does it apply to federal interstate highways. The 2013 exemption is the lesser of 12.5% per axle, or 90,000 pounds. The proclamation will expire at midnight on November 25, 2013.
"The Harvest Weight Proclamation is not a right by law, but a petition to the governor, who at his sole discretion may choose to grant the increased 12.5% weight tolerance," explains Mindy Larsen Poldberg, director of government affairs for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. "We sincerely thank Governor Branstad for his recognition of our request and his actions, and we also applaud ICGA members who contacted the governor's office to explain the need for this proclamation."
Weight limit exemption allows trucks to haul more bushels, to move crops as efficiently as possible
The Iowa Department of Transportation will monitor the operation of this weight limit waiver to assure the public's safety and to facilitate movement of the trucks involved, says a press release from the governor's office. Click here for more information from the governor's office regarding this exemption.
"Harvest is a very busy time for farmers and this proclamation allows them to move crops as efficiently as possible while ensuring roadway safety," says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "I appreciate the governor signing this proclamation in a timely manner so that it is in effect as harvest begins in earnest statewide."
Although the waiver allows up to 90,000 pounds, you still have to watch your axle weight limits
This waiver allows up to 90,000 pounds. But you still have to watch your axle weights. This year's rule is set up similar to last year's, so haulers need to know their axles and the distance between the axles so they know exactly how much they can haul in the truck. If you are unsure, contact the Iowa DOT.
"This weight limit exemption is going to help get this year's crop in from the fields and into bins on farms and into storage at elevators," says Northey. "We could certainly have a late harvest this year in Iowa. We hope we'll have good harvest weather, but there's no guarantee and farmers have to get the crop harvested and hauled in from the fields safely and efficiently. This exemption will allow truckers and farmers to put a few more bushels on each load, to be able to get harvest done a little quicker, and do it in a safe manner, and that is good."