Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association
Assembly Approves Updated IoH Legislation
Nearly one year to the date from when Wisconsin’s Implements of Husbandry bill was signed into law, its main authors have produced a follow-up measure to correct some of the policy’s unforeseen issues. On Tuesday, the State Assembly approved AB 113 by a unanimous vote.
Specifically, the bill clarifies in state statute that IOH with rubber tracks can legally operate on Wisconsin roadways. It also alleviates the potential issuance of thousands of permits across the state by authorizing an IOH or agricultural commercial motor vehicle being legally operated with a permit to cross any intersecting highway under the jurisdiction of the maintaining authority that issued the permit.
“Since the enactment of Act 377, we have continued to work closely with stakeholders in the agricultural industry, local governments, and the Department of Transportation to carefully monitor implementation,” said Sen. Jerry Petrowski, who co-authored the bill with Rep. Keith Ripp. “This bill is intended to be a clean-up package of noncontroversial but necessary changes that address unforeseen issues that came up during implementation and to clarify ambiguous provisions in the law.”
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Governmental Relations Director Rob Richard praised the lawmakers for demonstrating leadership when it comes to giving farmers the ability to operate overweight and over length farm machinery on the state’s roadways.
“It was understood that after IOH legislation was passed last year, Rep. Ripp and Sen. Petrowski would bring stakeholder groups back to the table to address or refine some aspects of the law,” Richard said. “Assembly Bill 113 is the culmination of these two leaders working with farm organizations, local governments and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to continue the conversation and help make the new law work for everyone involved.”
Other elements of the bill provide the same weight, length, width and height limitations for transporting IOH by trailer or semitrailer to the same extent as if the IOH were being operated on the roadway. The special axle weight exemption given to Category B planting, tillage, cultivating and harvesting IOH is also given to Ag-CMVs that directly distribute feed to livestock, or directly apply fertilizer, lime, spray or seeds, but not manure, to a farm field. And Ag-CMVs that have the capability to directly apply manure to a field, but are unable to due to field conditions, will be able to park on a road and off-load the manure to another piece of equipment for application, and still retain Ag-CMV status.
The State Senate is expected to vote on the bill on April 21.