Farmers are busy right now moving equipment over the roadways. Farmers should be cautious to ensure they remain in compliance with road laws and avoid citations that could slow down their busy season. Ohio’s vehicle weight laws can often become an issue as farmers are trying to quickly and efficiently move crops to market. All trucks and even farm equipment are subject to Ohio’s weight laws, including the gross vehicle weight limit of 80,000 pounds and the axle limitations. ORC 5577.04.
However, when farm trucks or machinery are hauling milk, livestock, soybeans, wheat, corn or tobacco, there is a 7.5 percent variance on all weight limits. ORC 5577.042. There are a few restrictions where the variance does not apply: on roads with lowered maximum weight limits, on interstate highways, or during the months of February or March. A year round 7.5 percent variance will apply to those trucks or machinery hauling manure, silage, sod, turf or timber products. ORC 5577.043.
Farm trucks are also subject to legal size requirements for width, length and height. Vehicles and any load cannot be in excess of 102 inches wide or stand taller than 13 feet, 6 inches. ORC 5577.05. The length requirements will depend on the type of vehicle, with general length limitation set at 50 feet. A semitrailer when operated in a commercial tractor-semitrailer combination, however, can have a length up to 53 feet. Farm machinery, when it is driven upon the roadway, is not subject to these size limitations. However, the limitations will apply if the machinery is being hauled on a trailer.
Last, always remember it’s important to ensure your Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) sign is in good condition and visible to other motorists. ORC 4513.11. It is not only the law to have an SMV sign on your farm equipment, it is also an important component to staying safe on the roadways.
Listen to an episode of ‘Legal with Leah’ where she discusses farm equipment on roadways.
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