flexibility to farmers
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State Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield,
wants to help area farmers, come harvest time. He is supporting
legislation that will give farmers more flexibility with weight
limits when hauling their crops from the field.
Senate Bill 2327 addresses a growing problem of "occupational
profiling" when state police target farm trucks and grain wagons for
overweight loads during harvest time. The fines average $700-$800
but can run higher if the load is excessively overweight.
"It is difficult to get the crops out
of the field without traveling on our county roads, and accurately
judging the weight of your truck can be difficult until you get to
the elevator," said Bomke. "Farmers need some flexibility where this
is concerned, and Senate Bill 2327 provides that flexibility while
maintaining the integrity of our roads."
Currently farmers can get special
permits for overweight loads but only during certain harvest season
and only for two-axle trucks. Still, judging the actual weight of
the truck can be a problem. Shifting loads make it difficult for a
farmer to judge the actual weight of the load until they get to the
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Also, Illinois -- unlike any other
state in the nation -- has roads rated below the typical
80,000-pound limit, making it difficult for farmers in some rural
areas to get to their destination without driving on a lower-limit
road, if only for a few miles.
Senate Bill 2327 expands the permits to
any time of the year, for longer distances and for two-, three-,
four- or five-axle vehicles, allowing greater flexibility for
farmers. The measure would also allow farmers a 10 percent leeway on
the weight limit during harvest time, so long as they are going from
the field to the first point of storage and abide by posted bridge
Even under Senate Bill 2327, the weight
of the load could not exceed 80,000 pounds.
2327 was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday
and now awaits action by the full Senate.
[News release from
Sen. Larry Bomke]