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More Changes to 'IoH' Law Coming in November
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/19/2015

Farmers and other operators of heavy farm equipment should be prepared for some changes regarding the use of machinery on public roadways. During the 2015 PDPW Business Conference, sponsored by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Rob Richard of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation told dairy producers that the state's Implements of Husbandry law signed by Gov. Scott Walker last year will have some new provisions coming into effect on November 1, 2015.

"The original legislation basically allowed operators a way to transport their equipment on roads and highways if their machines are too wide or too heavy according to state statutes by implementing a free permit process," Richard said. "But the law also included some other requirements that won't be enforced until later this year."

Under the 2014 state law, equipment weight limits were expanded from a maximum single axle weight of 20,000 pounds to 23,000 pounds and the maximum gross vehicle weight increased from 80,000 pounds to 92,000 pounds. For tillage, planting and harvesting equipment, implements are now allowed to be over 23,000 pounds per axle weight. For larger height and width instances, a permit is not required but the operator must abide by certain rules.

Richard says the next set of changes will apply to lighting and marking requirements.

"Beginning in November, any equipment or other ag vehicles that measure at least 15 feet in width or that extend over the center of the road will be required to have front and rear mounted flashing lights and reflective material visible anytime on the highway," he explained. "Vehicles exceeding 22 feet in width must have an escort vehicle with hazard flashers activated if they are traveling more than a half-mile."

Another upcoming change involves self-propelled implements over 12 feet in width, as they will need to have yellow or amber rotating strobes or beacon lighting mounted at the highest practical point.

If there is a combination of three vehicles--such as a tractor pulling two gravity wagons--operating during hours of darkness, Richard said they will need to have at least one red or amber light, reflector or Slow Moving Vehicle sign on each side of each vehicle.

The IoH legislation was enacted to allow farmers a way to legally haul their equipment from the farm to the field during planting and harvest time while providing local officials a way to protect their roads and bridges from being damaged.

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