The Iowa Department of Transportation may lose its battle keep some heavier farm trucks off Iowa roadways. This past week the Iowa House voted to let farmers carry heavier loads when they’re hauling ethanol byproducts out of an ethanol plant, bound for a farm where they’re feeding the stuff to cattle.
Truckers face higher registration fees when they haul heavier loads, but the bill that cleared the House waives those higher fees for farmers. Representative Gary Worthan, a Republican from Storm Lake, says while the D-O-T opposes the move, many others endorse it.
"The ethanol people, cattlemen, corngrowers," according to Worthan. Worthan says if the bill becomes law, farmers can haul in a full load of corn to the ethanol plant and return home with a full load of ethanol byproduct. "Farmers were getting ticketed when they were loading trucks with distiller’s grains and hauling back home for their own use to their feedyards," Worthan says.
The D.O.T. argues heavier trucks should pay higher fees to account for the additional wear and tear on roads. The bill is now under consideration in the Iowa Senate.