Iowa farmers are being reminded of some changes to weight limits for trucks carrying newly harvested grain. The Governor’s proclamation eases vehicle weight limit restrictions to help farmers move this year’s record corn crop.
Tim Recker, with the Iowa Corn Growers Association, says the rules differ from what farmers have grown accustom to. "What’s really sneaking up and catching people by surprise," Recker says, "is over the last 20 out of 21 years, we’ve been able to go up to a maximum of 20,000 pounds per axle on a semi tractor. This year, the proclamation states that you can only be 10-percent above what you currently run on your axles. That changes things dramatically for farmers."
Recker says he’s heard from farmers, who were under the maximum gross weight of 88,000 pounds, but exceeded the maximum axle weight. Grain haulers that exceed the weight limits can face fines from the Department of Transportation that range from roughly $200 to $2,000.
Dena Gray-Fisher, with the DOT, says the new 10-percent rule was added to protect the state’s aging infrastructure. "Our roads and bridges can not continue to accommodate the axle weights, and overall weights, that we have in the past," Gray-Fisher said.
Iowa farmers that have questions about the weight restrictions can call the Iowa DOT at 800-925-6469, Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Weight limit tables are also available on-line at www.iowadot.gov or www.iowacorn.org .