Harvest Season Permit Applications Start September(Farmweek)
Farmers may apply for Harvest Season Permits starting Sept.1, according to Kirby Wagner, Illinois Farm Bureau assistant director of transportation and infrastructure.
Farmers statewide may apply for a special permit that allows up to a maximum 10% over their gross vehicle weight, axle weight and registered weight limits. For permits on state routes, farmers must obtain a permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
Wagner pointed out Harvest Season Permits are required for any county, municipal and/or township road farmers will haul on. Those permits must be obtained from each road jurisdiction.
Farmers must carry the IDOT harvest season permit and biweekly route authorization with them, which may be carried electronically on a smartphone or tablet. Along with the permit and route authorization, form OPER 993 must be carried.
Wagner reviewed some of the details required for the online form, which were also required last fall.
Actual gross weight: This is the intended combined weight of the permitted truck with its load. For a five-axle semi, this would normally be 88,000-pounds -- not the 80,000-pound standard weight for that vehicle. Short-wheelbase semis could be limited to something less, depending on their axle spacing.
Some loads might be less than 88,000 pounds, but farmers do not need to lower the gross weight estimate for those loads, Wagner added. The permit remains valid as long as the weight is equal to or less than that permitted weight.
Method of Movement: The form offers options of "loaded" or "self-propelled," which refer to "what it is that creates the need for a permit--either the cargo that is loaded or the vehicle itself," Wagner explained. For a Harvest Season Permit, select "loaded," he said.
Axle weight: For a five-axle semi to reach the allowable 88,000-pound gross weight, individual and tandem axle weights need to take full advantage of the 10% overweight allowed, Wagner said.
Tandems that normally are allowed to carry 34,000 pounds will each need to carry 37,400 pounds. Meanwhile, the steer axle would have to carry 13,200 pounds. Wagner advised farmers to check individual axle ratings before carrying the additional weight.
He also advised farmers to check tire ratings because the harvest season emergency permit does not allow a farmer to exceed the tire manufacturer's weight rating.
Axle spacing: The first measurement starts at the center of axle 1 (the steer axle) and extends to the center of axle 2. The measurement starts at the center of axle 2 to axle 3. Continue that process through each pair of two consecutive axles, he said. Each distance needs to be recorded in feet and inches he added.
Visit IDOT's ITAP website at https://webapps.dot.illinois.gov/ITAP to apply for a permit for each vehicle and specify the route that will be traveled. Each state permit must be updated every two weeks with a revised route authorization.
Wagner encourages first viewing the harvest season permit manual on the ITAP website. Those who obtain the permit must follow permit provisions outlined in the OPER 993 form.