Signed but not yet available

In IFB's first 'View from the Road' blog, we try to sort out what you need to know about harvest season truck permits and the transition period to a new law.

Illinois Farm Bureau Assistant Director of Transportation and Local Government Kirby Wagner will be writing monthly blog posts for to keep farmers up to date on transportation issues that could affect their operation. His background includes working on both the farm and for the trucking company his family owns. (Photo by Catrina Rawson) 

By Kirby Wagner

First, I’m excited about checking in with you each month, and perhaps more often when needed, on important trucking and transportation issues.

Second, a bit about me. I serve as assistant director of transportation and local government for Illinois Farm Bureau. I’ve probably met several of you at one of our “On the Road” seminars we’ve held in partnership with your county Farm Bureau. I grew up in Woodford County, farming with my family. As I got older I began working for a family-owned trucking company in Roanoke until I began my career with the Farm Bureau.

Video: Meet View from the Road blogger Kirby Wagner.

We hope this blog helps keep you in the know and on the road to successfully transport your products. We’ll be on the “RFD Today” show on the RFD Radio Network® each month, too, to help reach you in as many ways possible on these important issues.

Third, and most important, Illinois has a new law on the books to help you efficiently haul crops during harvest. But, it’s important to note that the new law does not take effect until 2019.

Some quick background: state legislation passed in 2017 made changes to the Illinois vehicle code in place since Jim Edgar served as governor. The General Assembly changed language regarding the Harvest Season Emergency (HSE).

State law allows the governor to declare all, or parts, of Illinois to be in an HSE anytime between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. In fact, the governor made a declaration last November that allowed farmers and others who haul agricultural commodities to apply for a permit to haul up to 10 percent above their gross vehicle weight, registered weight and axle weight, as state law allows.

Farmers can apply to Illinois Department of Transportation for a free permit to haul overweight on state routes – excluding interstates. Local road jurisdictions have the option to allow or not allow the overweight haul, or they can waive the requirement to have a written permit and declare routes available to haul the overweight load.  

An important note: this permit does not allow vehicles to exceed road and bridge postings.

In 2018, the General Assembly considered more changes. They approved and the governor recently signed legislation that eliminates the need for the governor to declare a harvest emergency.

Starting in 2019, from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, those who haul agricultural commodities can apply for a permit to haul up to 10 percent above their gross vehicle weight, their registered vehicle weight, and axle weights without the governor’s declaration.

The permit will be available during harvest seasons to come, but for the 2018 harvest, farmers will need the governor to declare an emergency to apply for the permit.

Have a trucking or transportation-related question or questions? If so, email us at, and we’ll do our best to answer each one.

Content for this story was provided by