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[2011; R-2017 | Keywords: Regulatory Compliance, Oversized Loads]

If you are hauling equipment, over-dimension loads are a common part of that business model and confusion with regulations is a common issue within the industry. To add to the confusion, there is no consistency between Nebraska and Iowa when it comes to the transportation of farm equipment or “implements of husbandry.”

Nebraska Code

Nebraska statutes include a number of favorable exemptions for farm equipment dealers. Nebraska Statute 60-6288 exempts farm equipment dealers from width restrictions when hauling, driving, delivering, or picking up farm equipment or implements of husbandry during daylight hours. The width exemption is for intrastate (inside Nebraska) only and does not apply to interstate highways.

Nebraska Statute 60-6289 exempts farm equipment dealers from the normal height restriction of 14 feet, 6 inches on farm equipment or implements of husbandry being hauled, driven, picked up or delivered during daylight hours. This exemption allows a height of no more than 15 feet, 6 inches and applies to intrastate movements only.

The state of Nebraska also exempts dealers from length restrictions, such as grain augers or conveyors, but only in the county where the dealership is located and surrounding counties to the dealership’s base county. This exemption does not apply to movements across the state, nor does it apply to interstate highways.

Since Nebraska exemptions are for intrastate movements only, the state does not have laws concerning signage, flags or lighting for over-dimension loads. They do, however, strongly suggest adhering to Federal regulations concerning these items.

Nebraska also does not allow an exemption for overweight limits. A company must have a permit issued by the state. Dealers may also obtain an annual permit for over-dimension movements using interstate highways.

Iowa Code

The Iowa code also allows exemptions for equipment dealers for intrastate movements inside the state of Iowa. However, the Iowa exemptions differ from the Nebraska exemptions and, as expected, this causes a tremendous amount of confusion and frustration among INEDA members. Like Nebraska, the Iowa exemptions apply only to non-interstate highways.

Iowa Code 321.453 exempts implements of husbandry moved or moving upon a highway from size, weight load and permit requirements from 30 minutes prior to sunrise to 30 minutes following sunset. For loads wider than 8 feet, 6 inches, Iowa Code 321.453 requires an amber flashing light that is visible from the rear. If the flashing light is obstructed by the loaded implement, the implement must also be equipped with an amber flashing light. The transporting vehicle shall also be equipped with warning flags on the portion of the vehicle that protrudes into oncoming traffic.

Another difference in Iowa is that dealers must remember that these exemptions are issued by the state, which covers state highways. Most counties and cities adopt the state law. However, some may have local restrictions regarding the movement of over-dimensional loads. Please check with your local law enforcement agencies to learn more about the restrictions or permits required in your area.