WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Meetings focus on road rules for farm equipment

By: AP, weau staff Email
By: AP, weau staff Email

All Public Hearings will take place from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on the dates and locations listed below:

  • August 19 – UW Extension Office, 5201 Fen Oak Drive, Madison
  • August 20 – Country Aire Banquet Hall, F1312 County Road P, Stratford
  • August 28 – Cashton Community Hall, 8111 Main Street, Cashton
  • August 29 – WisDOT US 41 Brown County Field Office, 1940 West Mason Street, Green Bay
  • September 3 – Chippewa County Courthouse Large Assembly Room, 711 North Bridge Street, Chippewa Falls

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- (Weau)--Communities are getting the chance to sound off on the impact of farm equipment on Wisconsin roads.

Monday (8/19) the State Agriculture and Transportation Departments kicked off a series of public hearings on the impact of agriculture equipment on roads in Madison.

Additional meetings will be held Tuesday (8/20) in Stratford and later in Cashton, Green Bay and Chippewa falls.

Traditionally, farm equipment has been exempt from most weight limit regulations on roads but experts say over the years the equipment has become too large and heavy for most state and county roads.

“Usually 82,000 lbs. is the standard commercial weight limit for any semi, while as soon as manure is hauled the weight is way over 82,000 lbs.,” said Jerry Clark with Chippewa County UW-Extension.

“As the equipment has changed and gotten bigger and used for multipurpose the rules and regulations need to change a little,” he added.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently conducted a study with 20 stockholders from agriculture companies to law enforcement to look at the impact of large farm equipment on roadways.

One of the recommendations is to expand the weight allowances for farm equipment by 15% during specific times of the year. If operators exceed that allowance they would be fined.

“Where the line starts to get a little bit blurred is; is this truck used solely for farming or is it a commercial type of equipment,” said Clark.

The agricultural community is encouraged to attend the public hearings being hosted in their area to give input.

Clark says the goal is to come up with ways to lessen the impact agriculture equipment has on roads, while not hindering farm production.

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The state agriculture and transportation departments are starting a series of public hearings on the impact of farm equipment on Wisconsin roads.

Farm equipment has been getting larger and heavier. The new technology makes farming more efficient, but the size of the equipment can increase wear on roads.

The departments are holding the meetings with farmers, local highway officials and others to present and discuss recommendations made by a study group that looked at the issue. The group has made a number of recommendations regarding the size and weight limits for equipment driven on roads.

The first meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the University of Wisconsin Extension Office in Madison.


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