Ag-assistance measure becomes law

A new law will ease weight-limit restrictions on state highways during harvest time, improving the competitive outlook for Illinois farmers and agricultural commodities haulers as a way to assist the state’s leading industry: agriculture.

In response to feedback from the agriculture and trucking communities, which voiced frustration about the restrictions placed on axle weights, House Bill 5749 allows haulers to seek and obtain annual permits from the Illinois Department of Transportation and local authorities to exceed gross axle and gross vehicle weight limits by no more than 10 percent.

Permits are to cost $500 with a total combined permit fee of no more than $1,000. State permit fees will go to the State Construction Account Fund.

Supporters say allowing for increased haul weights during harvest season benefits farmers by helping them to be more productive, and allows Illinois to be more competitive and consistent with other states that have higher weight limits on their roadways.

The new law will take effect July 1, 2019.

Chapin Rose

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