Overweight trucks can move crops, animals

To help deal with the need to move grain away from flooded areas in Missouri, load limits on trucks have been increased 10 percent on some roads.

In response to a request from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Department of Transportation agreed to issue an order permitting overweight loads of farm products for truckers participating in emergency efforts moving farm commodities from flooded areas to safer storage.

The weight waiver is in effect between noon, Tuesday, April 26, 2011, and noon, Tuesday, May 10, 2011.

The Department of Transportation made clear that the overweight waiver does not apply to interstate highways. No travel is allowed by the overweight trucks on interstate highways.

Farmers, private and for-hire motor carriers may carry up to 10 percent more than their licensed weight on non-interstate Missouri highways.

Overweight permits will not be required. All other traffic and motor carrier regulations that normally apply remain in place.

While the waiver is in effect, participating motor carriers are limited to:

• A loaded, gross weight no greater than 10 percent above the gross licensed weight of the commercial motor vehicle.

• Transport of commodities from the farm to another facility, transportation between facilities and empty return trips all within the state of Missouri.

• When crossing a bridge with a 10 percent overload, the driver must restrict the vehicle speed to no more than 30 miles per hour and must center the truck between two lanes of the bridge. The truck driver must yield to oncoming traffic.

To learn if a road is closed because of high water, truckers and other motorists can check with the traveler information map at www.modot.org for up-to-date road closure information.

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