Senator Fowler sponsors axle weight limit expansion, makes Illinois’ agricultural industry more competitive

Illinois’ axle weight limits could be aligned with neighboring states’ regulations under recent legislation sponsored by State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).

“Currently, Illinois is at a disadvantage compared to our neighbors. We have these restrictions placed on our agricultural industry that tie our hands, creating a hurdle for our in-state businesses to compete with out-of-state businesses and making it hard for our neighboring industries to operate in our state,” said Senator Fowler. “This legislation is about making our axle weight limitations be consistent with our surrounding states and leveling the playing field.”

House Bill 5749 will require the Illinois Department of Transportation to issue special permits authorizing the movement of loads of agricultural commodities that may exceed the current axle or vehicle gross weight limits by ten percent between September 1 and December 31.

“Expanding axle weight limitations has been one of the main issues brought to me from our district’s agricultural and trucking industries, with constituents expressing their frustration about Illinois’ current regulations,” said Sen. Fowler. “The aim of this bill is to apply a permanent fix to an issue that I know our agricultural industry confronts each and every year.”

Last year, the Governor declared a harvest emergency for the State of Illinois, allowing those who obtained special permits to exceed regular axle weight limits for a one-time period.

“House Bill 5749 gives our farmers some much-needed, lasting assistance, enabling one of our biggest industries to be more competitive while bringing economic opportunities to the region,” said Senator Fowler. “I’m proud to sponsor legislation that addresses a real need in our agricultural and trucking communities.” 

House Bill 5749 unanimously passed the Senate on May 30 and will now advance to the House for further action.

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