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Ag Equipment Access to Roadways

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 12:00am

ST CROIX COUNTY HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT

920 THIRD STREET, HAMMOND, WI 54015

PUBLIC NOTICE

We have had some questions relating to agricultural equipment for farming and their need to utilize state, county and town roads to access fields. Operating farm vehicles on Wisconsin roads involves a specific set of regulations, safety and other requirements. Specific rules regarding length, height and width of agricultural equipment; driver requirements; hazardous materials; safety and vehicle registration; and weight restrictions can be found on the WisDOT website at:

http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/statepatrol/inspection/farm.htm

Equipment operators are encouraged to drive in a courteous, law-abiding manner and respect local weight limits whenever possible. Non-agricultural vehicle operators are encouraged to respect agriculture's right to utilize roadways, follow safe passing signs and also drive in a courteous and law-abiding manner. Farm-equipment signage for areas with the greatest use would be helpful in warning vehicles of possible slow-moving or parked equipment on highways. Education and information access are also important.

Farmers are not exempt from highway weight restrictions except under certain circumstances during harvest time. In reference to Wisconsin §348.17(5) annually lifts weight limits on Class A highways from September 1 to November 30 to harvest corn, soybeans, potatoes, vegetables or cranberries. The law allows weight limits to be exceeded by up to 15 percent for transport from farm field to initial storage or initial processing point. Farmers must meet all other vehicle requirements for size, operation and driver qualifications, and cannot travel on roadways or bridges with special weight restrictions or on most interstates.

In reference to Wisconsin §86, also keep in mind, any person who injures/damages any highway shall be liable in triple damages, to be recovered by the political division in charge of the maintenance on said highway, and the amount recovered shall be credited to the highway maintenance fund.

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WNAXLP


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