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Farmers hope for new exemptions for overweight farm vehicles

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A last-minute effort is being made to address concerns over weight limits for farm equipment on Wisconsin roads. With time running out in the legislative session, five Republicans have introduced a temporary measure to raise weight limits for so-called "Implements of Husbandry." A larger bill on the subject is stalled in both houses.

Five rural lawmakers hope to pass something now, and tackle the larger issues next session. According to the Brownfield Ag News Service, the temporary measure would run for only 18 months. It raises gross weight limits to 92,000 pounds with no limits per-axle. It also re-defines the instruments to include self-propelled and towed vehicles that are made and designed exclusively for agricultural use. Ag commercial motor vehicles would also be included. They would not have height, length, or width limits -- and they would not have to be registered with the D-O-T.

The issue arose after Marathon County officers ticketed manure haulers last year for being overweight on town and county roads. That prompted a government and industry task force which spurred the bills that later got stalled. Republicans Joan Ballweg, Gary Tauchen, Howard Marklein, Lee Nerison, and Travis Tranel submitted the new bill this week. It was referred to the Assembly's agriculture committee.