harvest equipment in field
HEAVY HAULERS: An official proclamation is allowing trucks to transport heavier loads of grain on Iowa roadways during harvest this year.

Harvest weight limit exemption starts Sept. 15

Iowa grants a 60-day weight limit waiver for trucks to help haul a big 2018 crop.

To help haul this year’s large harvest in from the field and keep the combines moving, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Sept. 11 signed a proclamation granting a temporary 60-day weight limit exemption for trucks operating on Iowa roads. The exemption begins Sept. 15 and will expire Nov. 13 unless it is extended.

The 2018 Harvest Weight Proclamation increases the weight allowable for vehicles hauling corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage and stover without the need for an overweight permit. It increases the weight allowable for shipment of these commodities by 12.5% per axle, up to a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross per load.

The waiver applies to loads of these commodities on all highways within Iowa, excluding the federal interstate system. Iowa Department of Transportation officials emphasize that the weight cannot exceed the truck’s regular maximum by more than 12.5% per axle, and haulers must obey posted limits on all roads and bridges.

Helps get big crops out of the field
“On behalf of Iowa farmers, we thank Gov. Reynolds for this proclamation as it provides a tremendous help to us as we work to efficiently haul this year’s harvest,” says Curt Mether, Iowa Corn Growers Association president. “We appreciate the governor’s help. The harvest weight proclamation is not a right by law, but a petition we as corn farmers make to the governor who at her sole discretion may choose to grant the increased harvest weight tolerance.”

ICGA made the request in August and worked with the governor’s office to ensure the proclamation moved forward to benefit Iowa farmers. The proclamation directs the Iowa DOT to monitor the operation of the exemption and assure the public’s safety by facilitating the movement of trucks involved. Farmers transporting grain are also required to follow their vehicle’s safety standards on axle weights.

“Increasing the weight limit exemption to 90,000 pounds makes harvest more efficient. At the end of the day, the extra weight allowance adds up,” says Mether, who farms near Logan in western Iowa. “This exemption is just during harvest and it helps get harvest finished in time before bad weather sets in, which can happen if harvest is delayed until later in the fall.”

Helps keep combines running
If you can get 100 or more additional bushels on your truck with the expanded weight limit, it can mean an extra truckload or more harvested in a day. “It helps keep the combine moving in the field,” he says. “The waiver includes hay and silage as well as corn and soybeans. It assists farmers who have hay or silage to haul.”

ICGA has asked for and received a harvest weight exemption for trucks on Iowa roadways from different governors annually over the years. Past governors of Iowa have given this exemption to farmers for quite a few years, notes Mether. “We appreciate it. It’s totally up to the governor whether or not to grant the waiver.”

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