harvesting corn

Iowa farmers get weight limit waiver for 2015 harvest

Governor signs proclamation to help trucks haul in this year's big crop efficiently and effectively

To help haul this year's huge harvest in from the field, Gov. Terry Branstad signed into effect on Sept. 25 a proclamation granting a temporary weight limit exemption for trucks on Iowa roads. The waiver 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 per load) without the need for an oversize or overweight permit.

As in past years when a waiver was granted, the 2015 fall harvest exemption again applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the Interstate system. Trucks cannot exceed the truck's regular maximum by more than 12.5% per axle and must obey the posted weight limits on all roads and bridges.

Weight limit exemption will last for 60 days beginning Sept. 25
"We as farmers understand the harvest weight proclamation is not a right by law, but a petition to the governor," says Bob Hemesath, a farmer from Decorah and president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). "On behalf of Iowa farmers, we sincerely thank Gov. Branstad for this proclamation, which will significantly improve farmers' efficiency during harvest."

ICGA provided Branstad the information required to grant the waiver, as well as information on estimated harvest predictions. The proclamation directs the Iowa Department of Transportation to monitor the operation of the exemption, to assure the public's safety and facilitate movement of the trucks involved. Farmers who are transporting grain are also required to follow their vehicle safety standards on axle weights. The exemption is granted for 60 days beginning, September 25, 2015.

Allows vehicles hauling crops a waiver on weight limits in Iowa
"I'm pleased to sign this proclamation to allow farmers to move their crop in an effective and efficient manner," said Branstad. "Iowa's farmers are a critical part of our economy and this proclamation will ensure they're able to transport their crop and get it harvested ahead of deteriorating weather conditions." Added Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, "The governor and I continue to look for ways in which government can assist Iowans and this harvest weight proclamation is another way we're able to ensure farmers can get their yield out of the fields and to the market."

Hemesath adds, "This is an opportunity to take full advantage of the time we have to get harvest finished and the crop hauled in from the field to store it." For his family farming operation, the weight limit waiver will mean about 50 fewer trips from fields to the farmstead during harvest. "And that's only for our farm," he points out. "Think of all the farms in Iowa this weight limit exemption will help. Getting this exemption for hauling grain at harvest is a big deal for all of Iowa agriculture and our state's economy."

Where to find information on details of truck weight waiver
This waiver is intended to allow loads transported on all state highways within Iowa. It excludes the Interstate system, and the trucks can't exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight. You can't exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code §321.463(5) (b), by more than 12.5%, and you can't exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds. You must comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is monitoring the operation of this exemption to assure the public's safety and facilitate movement of the trucks involved. The signed proclamation can be found here.

TAGS: Corn Soybean
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