Know Your Limit When Hauling Products to Market

Andrew Smith, Associate Director

Planting season is well on its way, and you can just see the small grain growing. Before you know it, combines will be rolling in the fields. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to remind farmers to know their limit when hauling products to market.

It’s even more important to know what you can do, and where you can do it. I say this because the Virginia Department of Transportation is under guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation to review and post weight limits on all bridges in the Commonwealth. So, you must pay attention to the bridges you cross to get from farm to market. Exemptions and allowances enjoyed by various industries do not allow you to violate weight limits on bridges. Some of the new postings have prompted discussions with agencies to find solutions to downgraded bridges until they can be improved or replaced.

Farmers enjoy several exemptions and allowances in a variety of areas of hauling agricultural products, but it’s important to have a good understanding of what they are and how they apply.

One of the best allowances we have is when you have your truck registered with the registered Farm Vehicle (F-tag) from the DMV. When you have this plate, you get an extra 5% allowance of weight. It’s one of the benefits of putting a registered farm plate on your vehicles. This is included in § 46.2-1128 of the Virginia Code.

The most recent tool for farmers available is one I encourage them to consider buying— the Virginia Grown Overweight permit. This permit is a real bargain for producers in case they are overweight. One of the allowances is that it allows a five-axle vehicle with a minimum of 42 feet of axle space between extreme axles to carry up to 90,000 pounds gross weight. However, remember you still must follow bridge limitations. This is cheap “insurance” in case extra moisture pushes your grain load higher than normal. This permit is allowed under § 46.2-1148. of the Virginia Code.

One last comment—I hear farmers talk about what they were allowed to register their vehicle to carry related to weight. You should always know the manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your vehicle, as well as where your vehicle falls on the maximum gross weight chart found in the DMV publication booklet DMV 109: Size, Weight and Equipment Requirements for Trucks, Trailers and Towed Vehicles. This chart uses your number of axles and the distance of your extreme axles to determine your gross weight limit. The booklet from the Department of Motor Vehicles DMV 109 is a great resource to have handy and review often to avoid costly headaches and wasted time on the side of the road. Your vehicle must be manufactured and designed to safely carry the weight, regardless of what you may be able to “get registered to carry.”

Links to the mentioned resources and others you may find useful can be found on the Virginia Farm Bureau Resource page found here: Virginia Farm Bureau Resource Center.

Planting season is well on its way, and you can just see the small grain growing. Before you know it, combines will be rolling in the fields. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to remind farmers to know their limit when hauling products to market.

It’s even more important to know what you can do, and where you can do it. I say this because the Virginia Department of Transportation is under guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation to review and post weight limits on all bridges in the Commonwealth. So, you must pay attention to the bridges you cross to get from farm to market. Exemptions and allowances enjoyed by various industries do not allow you to violate weight limits on bridges. Some of the new postings have prompted discussions with agencies to find solutions to downgraded bridges until they can be improved or replaced.

Farmers enjoy several exemptions and allowances in a variety of areas of hauling agricultural products, but it’s important to have a good understanding of what they are and how they apply.

One of the best allowances we have is when you have your truck registered with the registered Farm Vehicle (F-tag) from the DMV. When you have this plate, you get an extra 5% allowance of weight. It’s one of the benefits of putting a registered farm plate on your vehicles. This is included in § 46.2-1128 of the Virginia Code.

The most recent tool for farmers available is one I encourage them to consider buying— the Virginia Grown Overweight permit. This permit is a real bargain for producers in case they are overweight. One of the allowances is that it allows a five-axle vehicle with a minimum of 42 feet of axle space between extreme axles to carry up to 90,000 pounds gross weight. However, remember you still must follow bridge limitations. This is cheap “insurance” in case extra moisture pushes your grain load higher than normal. This permit is allowed under § 46.2-1148. of the Virginia Code.

One last comment—I hear farmers talk about what they were allowed to register their vehicle to carry related to weight. You should always know the manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your vehicle, as well as where your vehicle falls on the maximum gross weight chart found in the DMV publication booklet DMV 109: Size, Weight and Equipment Requirements for Trucks, Trailers and Towed Vehicles. This chart uses your number of axles and the distance of your extreme axles to determine your gross weight limit. The booklet from the Department of Motor Vehicles DMV 109 is a great resource to have handy and review often to avoid costly headaches and wasted time on the side of the road. Your vehicle must be manufactured and designed to safely carry the weight, regardless of what you may be able to “get registered to carry.”

Links to the mentioned resources and others you may find useful can be found on the Virginia Farm Bureau Resource page found here: Virginia Farm Bureau Resource Center.

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