State representatives need to hear your opinion on new driving farm implements rule
Proposed rules for driving farm implements on Wisconsin roads threaten the viability of our state's family farms and every farmer must contact their state legislators now to head off this ill-conceived policy.
Restricting implements wider than 15-feet requires even farmers pulling six-row corn planters, which measure 17.5 feet across, to get authorization (aka permits) from every municipality travelled through. That is, separate permits for every state, county and town road on which you drive.
If authorization is denied, you can sue or resign yourself to loading equipment on drop-deck trailers.
What kind of solutions are those? And that's just a small part of the 52-page Department of Transportation report on 'Implements of Husbandry' that covers everything from height, weight and width of farm and manure hauling to operator safety, bridge and culvert design.
These rules, disguised as an attempt to make our roads safer, amount to little more than additional road and bridge taxes.
Once towns and counties have proof of your road use - via those 'authorization forms' - they'll know exactly who and where to send bills for road maintenance and repair.
Collectively, Wisconsin farmers must raise our concern over the folly of these rules.
Send your state representative a tape measure with a short note indicating the height and width of your most commonly used farm implement and note how seriously driving restrictions will increase your workload, impact insurance liability and do little to improve road safety. Maybe they'll get the message.
Nancy Kavazanjian & Charles W. Hammer
Hammer & Kavazanjian Farms, Beaver Dam