Iowa Extends Overweight Loads Limit Until Nov. 11

Harvest Season Proclamation Includes Transport of Agricultural Products
Truck at grain elevator
A farmers' cooperative in central Iowa. (DarcyMaulsby/Getty Images)

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has extended through Nov. 11 the state’s seasonal grain harvest proclamation allowing overweight loads for vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage, fodder, fertilizer and manure.

She renewed the harvest proclamation Oct. 11 for vehicles transporting the agricultural goods enabling overweight loads under 90,000 pounds gross weight to operate without a permit for the duration of the proclamation.

A day earlier, Mike Naig, state agriculture secretary, declared, “Harvest is in full swing. Warmer temperatures and mostly dry conditions across the state allowed for significant harvest progress in the past week.”

Naig noted that the state crop progress and condition report showed corn maturity reached 96% (eight days earlier than last year and 11 days ahead of the five-year average) and corn harvested for grain accounted for only 30% statewide. Soybean harvesting had just tipped over 50%. Iowa depends on trucking as a major transportation source for its agricultural products.

The governor’s harvest proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa (excluding the interstate system) provided that the loads don’t exceed the maximum axle weight limit outlined in the state law for non-primary highway maximum gross weight table and by more than 12.5%, do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds.

In addition, vehicles operating under the proclamation must adhere to posted weight limits on roads and bridges.

“The Iowa Department of Public Safety is hereby directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to assure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of trucks involved in our state’s planting season,” the directive added.

Reacting to the latest harvest proclamation extension, the Iowa Corn Growers Association thanked Reynolds on behalf of its 7,000 members since the directive will help “farmers to save money and time as we roll into winter. For reference, this means that a 500-acre Iowa corn farmer would require 21 fewer truckloads, and a 1,000-acre Iowa corn farmer would require 42 fewer truckloads.”

To promote traffic safety during harvest season, the Iowa Department of Transportation is using its social media to urge drivers to be cautious during this time. “Farming isn’t a 9-5 job, so please keep a look out for farm vehicles on rural roads any time of the day or night. They are working to bring in the crops that provide you with food and fuel,” it stated.

An earlier message told drivers, “Fall harvest is in overdrive,” and urged them to be patient with farmers driving heavy trucks along the road because they need space and time to “pull over and let you pass as soon as possible.”

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