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.
“This legislation was the direct result of feedback from the agricultural and trucking communities in my district who voiced their growing frustration about the restrictions placed on axle weights. Under current limitations, our in-state businesses were being unnecessarily restricted and unable to compete with our neighboring states,” said Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg. “I’m proud to have been the chief sponsor of this legislation in the Senate, taking significant steps toward ensuring Illinois’ in-state businesses are competitive and consistent with the regulations governing businesses in surrounding states.”
HB 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.
“Harvest time for farmers is difficult work with long hours, especially when they are hauling their yields to storage sites,” added Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, who co-sponsored the bill. “Allowing the haul weight to increase during harvest season will not only make things easier for our farmers, but it allows Illinois to compete equally with other states that have higher weight limits on their roadways. Agriculture is the backbone and the No. 1 economic driver of Illinois’ economy. This added tool can help our farmers be even more productive, which in turn helps the entire state.”